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Full text of "Chief Contemporary Dramatists, Second Series"

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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY 
DRAMATISTS 

Second Series . 

' ;3HTEEN PLAYS FROM THE RECENT DRAMA OF 
i;.MGLAND, IRELAND, AMERICA, FRANCE, GERMANY 
i ISTRIA, ITALY, SPAIN, RUSSIA, AND SCANDINAVIA 

SELECTED ANI^^EDITED BY 

THOMAS Hf'DICKINSON 




BOSTON NEW YORK CHICAGO 

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY 
QTbe Sietreilic prtss Cambdnse 



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All rights nuplayi nprlnud in this volumt art rescrvid ty tk 



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CONTENTS 



iNTBODucnoN V 

M1LB8TOBB8 / Arnold BenneU, and 

Edward Knoblock .... 1 

Our Betters W. Somerse Maugham ... 43 

Abraham Lincoln - John DrinkwateT .... 91 

Mixed Marriage St John G. Eriiiw .... 125 

Kino Argimbnes AND TBE Unknown Warrior Lord Dunsany ..... 155 

The Easiest Wat Ewgem Walter 167 

The Piper Josephine Preston Feabody . . 227 

The Yellow Jacket George C. Hazdlon and 



Benrimo 

Georges de Porio-Riche 



A Loving Wife 

TranslaUd by J. P. W. Crawford 

Cyrano db Bergerac Edmond Rostand 

'" TransiaieS'by'GeTtTiide Hall — - 



Pasteur 

Translated by Irving H. Brown 
"Moral" 

Translated by Charles Recht 
Living Hours 

Translated by Graee Isabel Colbron 
The Concert 

Translated by Bayard Quincy Morgan 

GlOCONDA 

— Tfanslated by Arthur Symotis 
Thb Bonds op Interest .... 

Translated by John Garrett Vnda-hill 
Th b Lower DEPTHa Maiim Gorki 

Translated by Edwin Hopkins 
The Tragedy op Love Gumuir Heiberg 

Translated by Edwin Bjorkman 

424580 



Sacha Guilry 



g Thoma 



Arthur Scknilsler 



Hermann Bohr 



Gnbriele d'Annunzio 



Jacinto Benaxente 



. 269 
. 3!3 



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iv CONTENTS 



Appendix 

I, Authors AND Plats 719 

II. Notes on the Pboddction of Plays 723 

III. A WoRKiNQ Book List in Contbmpokaey Dbama 726 

IV. A Reading List ik Contemporary Dramatists 730 

V. Index of Ghabactbhs 732 



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INTRODUCTION 

Tsia volume contains eighteen complete plays from the drama of England, Ireland, the 
XTnited States, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Russia, and the Scandinavian 
countries. Together with the first volume of Chief Contemporary Dramatists, issued in 
1915, there are now made available in convenient form thirty-eight plays of the first 
order of excellence from the theater of Europe and America. In the choice of plays the 
term "contemporary" has been interpreted strictly. Of the eighteen plays in this book, 
one third were produced in the decade between 1910 and 1920; all save three are prod- 
ucts of the twentieth century. Of these works sis have not before been pubhshed in 
English and are here made available for the first time in America. 

Comparing the plays in this volume with those which constituted the first series of 
Chief Contemporary Dramatists, some interesting tendencies in the theater of the western 
worid are disclosed. While the thesis or problem play, derived from France and enforced 
by Ibsen, was predominant in the eighteen-nineties and the earlier years of the new cen- 
tury, the form disappears as the century approaches ite second decade. The present 
volume contains no single distinct exemplar of this type of play. The result of the freeing 
of the play from the necessity of being socially serviceable has been greatly to enrich the 
theater with new interests both in structure and content, and to call into the craft of play- 
making men from arts outside the theater. 

The era of problems did not pass without leaving some impress on the theater for its 
good. While dominating the motives of play^, the scientific method had an influence aa 
well on the vehicle of dramatic expression. The thesis playwright found the theater 
bound by the artificialities of an outworn technique. By applying honesty to the method 
of the play and accuracy to its observation, he left to the play a structure of greater 
naturalness and flexibility. It now appears that neither artificiality aor banality are 
necessary qualities of the bourgeois play, and that a fine and delicate artistry may be 
linked with a careful method in the study of human nature. 

In the technical variety of the plays in this volume we have evidence of the release of 
the playwright from the restrictions current during the nineteenth century. A new 
technique is in process of development, upon which httle can be learned in the pages of 
Preytag or even of Archer. Thoi^h its formulas are not as yet fixed, we are fortunate 
to have in Professor G. P, Baker's Technique of the Drama an avenue to the under- 
standing of its practice. 

Nothii^ in the history of the theater of the last gisneration is more significant than the 
manner in which it is connecting itself with the various activities of men. In a generation 
the theater has changed from a highly professionalized institution, with the door closed 
on all extraneous experiments, to a workshop of painters, novelists, and craftsmen gener- 
ally. This fact is reflected in the varied interests of the authors represented in this vol- 
ume. Worthy of note also is the rise of the drama of Spain and the general decline of the 
Northern influence, and the fact that two works of an absolute artistic integrity and 
originality are the results of collaboration. 

Without claiming to have exhausted the rich field of the contemporary theater the 
editor believes that the eighteen plays here presented give a worthy picture of the drama 
of our time. Even more than in the case of the fiist volume the editor is aware of the 
pMnful sacrifices which are made necessary by the restricted compass of the volume. As 



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vi INTRODUCTION 

in the case of the first volume the editor must still regret that he is not able to include 
plays by Barrie and Shaw. Since the pubhcation of the first aeries, Barrie has only 
strengthened his hold on a primary place in the drama of his time. Shaw, who belonged 
to the former volume by merit of two or three plays of extraordinary dramatic value, aa 
well as by many discursive essas^ in conversational form, has, during the last five years, 
done nothing to strengthen hie position as a dramatist. 

Finally, the editor has in mind to acknowledge the courtesies he has met at the hand? 
of authors and publishers, whose instant understanding of the purposes of this work ha.: 
done much to make it possible; the friendly counsel of critics of many nations, freelji 
drawn upon and as freely given, and the untiring patience and helpfulness of the mem- 
bers of the editorial staff of Houghton MiSin Company, with whom the editor has been 
permitted to collaborate. 



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MILESTONE 

A PLAY IN THREE ACTS 

By ARNOLD BENNETT AND EDWARD KNOBLOCK 



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FRANK VERNON 

WHO HAVING BROUGHT THE AUTHORS TOGETHER IN- 
STRUCTED THEM TO COLLABOR-iTE IN A PLAY AND 
WHO WHEN THEY HAD OBEYED HIM PUT THE 
PLAY ON THE STAGE WITH AN ART WHICH 
EVOKED THEIR LIVELIEST GRATITUDE 



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CHARACTERS IN THE PLAY 

John Rhead 

Gertbudb Rhead 

Mrs. Rhead 

Samuel Sibley 

Rose Sibley 

Ned Pym 

Emily Rhead 

Arthur Pkeece 

Nancy Sibley 

Lord Monkhurst 

The Honourable Muriel Pym 

Richard Sibley 

Thompson 

Webster 

FO0TMA>f 
3 lai/1 throughout in the drawing-Toam of a house in Kensington 
The First Act U in 1S60 
The Second Act is in 1885 
The Third Act is in 1913 



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MILESTONES 
ACT I 



The Scene represents the drawing-room 0/ 
a house in Kensingiim Gore. The house is 
quite new at the time: all the decorations, pic- 
tures andfumitm-e are of the mid-Victorian 
period. On the left tiiree long windows look 
out on Kensington Gardens. On the right a 
targe double door leads into the back draimng 
room. A singU dow on the same side of the 
To<mi leads to the hall and stairs In the 
centre at back a targe fireplace vnlh a fire 
burning in it. The blinds and curtains are 
drawn; the lamps are lighted 

It is about hiAf-past nine at night of the 
29(ft of December, 1860 

Mrs. Rhead, a woman of ntaily sixty ts 
sitting on the sofa, crocheting some lace 
which is evidently destined to tnm petlteoalt 
Her hair is dressed in the style of 1840, though 
her dress is of the 1860 period. Near her, in 
an armchair, sits Rose Siblbt, a gentle, 
romantic-lookiTig girl of twenty-one, who is 
dressed in the height of fashion of the period. 
She is at work on a canvas wool-work pattern. 
Cups of after-dinner coffee stand near both 
ladies. 

Mrs. Rhead. Do permit me to look at 
your work ooe moment, my dear Rose. 

Rose. With pleasure, Mrs. Rhead. 

Mrs. R. Very pretty indeed. Nothing 
could be in better taste than these Berlin 
wool patterns. 

Rose. I got the design from the "Eng- 
lishwoinan's Domestic Magazine." It's to 
be one of three cushions for father's study. 

Mrs. R. I had an idea of doing the same 
sort of thing for my husband, after we 
moved into the new house here, three years 
ago. But then, when he died, I had n't the 
heart to go on. So 1 'm crocheting lace now 
instead for Gertrude's trousseau. Will you 
have some more coffee? 



Rose. No, thank you. 

Mrs. R. Just a drop. Gertrude, pour 
out — [She looks about.] Now where has 
Gertrude disappeared to? 

Rose. She left the room some moments 
ago. 

Mb'5 R Even between dinner and coffee 
she must be off. 

RoiB But why? 

Mrs R Do I know, my dear? Just 
managing the house and managing it, and 
managing it. Upoa my word, Gertrude 
performs the duti^ of the place as if it 
were the foundry and she were John. My 
son and daughter are so alike. 

Robe [tnlerjecting enthusiastically]. One 'a 
as silendid as the other. 

Mrs. R. She keeps account-books now. 

Rose [rather starUed]. Of the house? 

Mns. R. [nods]. And she says she shall 
show John a baJanee-sheet at quarter-day. 
Did you ever hear of such behaviour? 

Rose. She always was very active, 
was n't she? It's in the blood. 

Mrs. R. It is not in mine, and I am her 
mother. No! It is all due to these modern 
ways; that is what it is. 

Rose. I suppose John 's rather pleased. 

Mrs. R. Yes, John! But what about 
your brother? Will he be pleased? la Ger- 
trude going to make him the wife his posi- 
tion demands? 

Rose. I'msurehe'Ubedellghted tohave 
his house managed as this one's managed. 

Mrs. R. But will it stop at that? Once 
one begins these modern ways, one never 
knoira where they will end. 

Rose. I must say I was surprised she 
ever accepted Sam. 

Mrs. R. [depreeatingly]. Surprised? But 
why? 

Rose. We Siblcys arc such an extremely 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



old-fashioned family. Look at father ! And 
I do believe Sam's worse. Yes, I do believe 
Sam's worse than father. Thank goodness 
they have your son for a partner — two 
such slow-coaches, as they are. 

Mrs. R. Slow-coaches! My dear, re- 
member the respect due to your father. 

Rose [eageH'j]. Oh, I adore father, and 
Sam, too! I would n't have either of them 
altered for the world. But IdothinkSam's 
very fortunate in getting Gertrude. 

Mrs. R. She also is very fortunate, very 
fortunate indeed, 1 have the highest re- 
spect for Sam's character, and my hope 
and prayer is that he and Gertrude will 
influence each other for notiing but good. 
But, between you and me, my dear, the 
first six months will be — well — lively, to 
Bay the least. 

[Gertrude Rhbad enters by the door from 

the hall, carrying in her hand a cloak 

of the latest paliem of the period. She is 

twenty-one, high spirited, independent, 

afraid of no one.] 

Rose. What on earth's that, Gertrude? 

Gbbt. I 've just been upstairs to get it. 

Help me, will you? I wanted to show it 

you. [Rose Wps Gertrude urfyiiAecioat.] 

I only bought it tc-day, with the money 

John gave me for Christmas. Thank yoii 

— Weil? 

Rose. Very daring, is n't it? 1 suppose 
it's quite the latest? 

Gbrt. Next year's. Mother says it's 
"fast." 

Mrs.R. I hope you II put it away before 



then 



6 up. 



Gert. [with assumed innocence}. Why? 

Mrs. R. Because Samuel will surely not 
approve of it. 

Gbrt. I Ijet you he will. 

Mrs. R. Gertrude! 

Geht. The truth is. Rose, mother's only 
taken a prejudice against it because I 
brought it home myself this afternoon in a 



Rose [uto^gered]. Alone? In a hansom 
cab? 

Mrs. R. You may well be shocked, dear. 
My lady refuses the carriage, becausea of 
keeping the horses standing in this terrible 



frost. And then she actually hails a han- 
som-cabriolet! What Samuel would say if 
he knew I dare not imagine. 

Geht. Well, what harm is there in it, 
mamma darling? {Caresses her.\ I do wish 
you'd remember we're in the year 1860 — 
and very near '61. You really must try to 
keep up with the times. Why, girls will be 
riding on the tops of omnibuses some day. 

Rose [proteHting]. Gertrude! 

Mrs. R. I hope I sha'n't live to see it. 
[Enter TeoMpaoN, a young butler, from the 
hall. He collects the coffee cups, putting 
them all on a tray.] 

Gert, Is the hot-water apparatus work- 
ing properly, Thompson? 

Thompson. Moderate, miss. 

Gbst. [rather annoyed]. It ought to work 
perfectly. 

Rose. What's the hot-water apparatus? 

Oest. It'sforthebath-room, you know. 

Rose. Yes. I know you'd got a bath- 

Gert. It's just the latest device. John 
had it put in the week mother was down 
at Brighton. It was his Christmas aurpriee 

Rose. Yes, but I don't understand. 

Gert. It's quite simple. We have a 
boiler behind the kitehen range, and pipes 
carry the hot water up to the bath. There's 
one tap for hot and another for cold. 

Rose. How wonderful! 

Geht. So when you want a hot bath all 
you have to do — 

Mrs, R, [drily]. All we have to do is to 
tell cook to put down a shoulder of mutton 
to roast. Very modern! 

Gest. [caressing her mother again]. Hor- 
rid old dear! Thompson, why is it working 
only moderately? 

Thompson [6y the door]. No doubt be- 
cause cook had orders that the beef was 
to be slightly underdone, miss. 

[Exit quickly with tray.] 

Gert. [to Rose]. That was to please your 
daddy. Rose, and he never 



Mrs. R. I do hope there's been i 
trouble down at the foundry between hi 
and my son. 



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MILESTONES 



Rose. So do I. 

Gbkt. Why are you bott pretending? 
You know perfpctly well there has bei 
trouble between them. You must have 
noticed the chilhness when our respective 
brothers met to-night. 

Rose. I assure you, Gertrude, I know 
nothing. Sam Eaid not a single word iti the 
carriage. 

Gert. Well, was n't that enough? Or 
does he never speak in the carriage? 

Rose [to Mrs. Rhbad]. Has John said 
anything? 

Mrs. R. I understood you to say that 
the reason your father did n't come to 
dinner was that he had an urgent appoint- 
ment, quite unexpectedly, at the last mo- 

Roaa. Yes, he asked me to tell you and 
make his excuses. 

Gest. Urgent appointment at his club 
— most likely ! 

Mrs. R. I wonder what the trouble can 
have been. 

Gert. You don't, mother. You know! 
It's the old story — Sam and his father 
with their set ideas, pulling one way; and 
John with his go-ahead schemes, pulling the 
other — with the result — 

Mrs. R. The result is that we've had 
one of the most mournful dinners to-night 
tiiat I have ever had the pleasure of giving. 
Gert. I know) What a good thing we 
asked Ned Pym, If he had n't come to the 
rescue witii his usual facetious, senseless 
chatter, I do believe Sam and John — 

Mm. R, [quickly, slopping her]. Here are 
the gentlemen! Gertrude, take that cloak 
off. 

lEnt^ /Torn the hail Samuel Sibley, Ned 
Pym, and John Rhead. Samuel Sib- 
let 13 twenty-eight, heavy, with a serious 
face, a irifie pompous, but with distinct 
dignity. Ned Ptm, who is a little over 
twenty, is the young dandy of the day: 
handsome, tall, mth exceBenl manners, 
which allow him to carry off his face- 
Haiti attitude rather swxes^uRy. Johk 
Rhead comes last. He is iwerdy-ftve, 
full of determination and purpose. He 
knows what he wants and is going to get 
it.] 



Mrs. R. [in a smooth leme to Rose]. Have 
you seen the new number of "Great Expec- 
tations," dear? 

Ned. What's this, Gertrude? Charades? 

Gert. [flouncing her cloak half defiantly 
at Sam]. Paris ! 

Ned [coming betweenSAM and Gertrude], 
Evictently it has lost nothing on the jour- 

G.BRT. Ned, would you mind . . . I'm 
showing it to Sam. [To Sam.] Don't you 
like it? 

Sam [forcing himself]. On my betrothed, 



Ned Ifaceliotiily]. By the e: 
treme self-control the lover conceals his 
enthusiasm for the cloak of his mistress. 

Gbbt, [appealing to Sam], But you do 
like it — don't you? 

Sam [evasively]. Is n't it rather original? 

Gert. 0( course it is. That's just the 

Sam [surprised]. Just the point? 

Gkbt, [taking the cloak off arid flinging it 
half pettishly on a chair]. Oh! 

John. It's original, and tlierefore it has 
committed a crime. [Looking at Sam.] Is 
n't that it, Sam? 

Sam [gives John a look and turns to Mrs. 
Rhead with an obvious intention of changing 
the conversation]. What were yon sa3Tng 
about "Great Expectations," Mrs. Rhead? 

Mrs. R. [at a loss]. What were we saying 
about "Great Expectations"? 

Ni:d. Well, I can tell you one thing 
about it; it's made my expectations from 
my uncle smaller than ever. 

[Tie sits by Mrs. Rhead.] 

Mas. R. Oh, how is dear Lord Monk- 
hurst? 

Ned. He's very well and quarrelsome, 
thank you. And his two sons, my delight- 
ful cousins, are also in excellent health. 
Weil, as I was going to tell you; you know 
how my uncle has turned against Dickens 
since "Little Dorrit." I happened to say 
something about "Great Expectations" 
being pretty fairish, and he up and roda 
over me hke a troop of cavalry. 

Mrs. R. [puizkd], A troop of cavalry? 

Ned. It was at his Christmas party, too, 
worse luck. He as good as told me I dis- 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



^pBed with him on purpose to annoy him. 
Now I cannot agree with him solely and 
simply because he allows me seven hundred 

RoaB. Is he so difficult to get on with? 

Ned. Difficult? He 'a nothing but a fad- 
dist! An absolute old faddist 1 Whateanyou 
do with a man that's convinced that spirits 
'II turn his dining-table, and that Bacon 
wrote Shakespeare; and that the Benecia 
Boy's a better man than Tom Bayers? 

Mrs. R. It seems a great pity you can- 
not do something to please your uncle. 

Ned. Would you believe it? He even 
wanted me to join the Rifle Volunteers. 
Now, I ask you, can you see me in the Rifle 
Volunteers, me among a lot of stockbrokers 
and chimney-sweeps? 

Gert, We cannot, Ned. 

Ned. And in order to raise my patriot- 
ism last night — [Slapping his knee vio- 
lenlly.] By Jove! [He jumps up.| By 
Heavens ! Jiggered ! Jiggered 1 

Gert. and Rose. Ned ! 

Ned. I am a ruined man ! You see be- 
fore you, kind friends, a man ruined and 
without hope 1 Last night my uncle sent me 
a ticket for the launching of the "Warrior." 

S\M[withasneer]. The"Warrior"! You 
did n't miss much I 

Ned. But my beloved aunt was com- 
manded to be in attendance on Her Royal 
Highness at the said function. . . . Well, I 
forgot all about it. I repeat 1 forgot all 
about it. My uncle will certainly call this 
the last straw. There will be no quarterly 
cheque for me on New Year's Day. 

Rose. What is "The Warrior"? 

John [buTsting out]. The "Warrior" is a 
steam-frigafe — first vessel of the British. 
Navy to be built entirely of iron. She 'a over 
six thousand tons burden, and she repre- 
sents the beginning of a new era in iron. 

Rose [adoringly]. How splendid! 

JoHK [respondirtg quickly to Aer mood]. 
Ah, you agree witi mel 

Rose lentkusiastically]. Of course! [She 
breeds off self-consciously.] Of course I 
agree with you. 

John [aifler a slight pause — quickly]. 
This 29th of December marks a great day 
in the history of the British Navy. 



Sam [with a slight superior smile, trying 
to be gay]. Nonsense. All this day marks 
is the folly of the Admiralty. You may 
take it as an absolute rule that whatever 
the Admiralty does is wrong. Always has 
been, always will be. The "Great Eastern" 
was the champion White Elephant of the 
age. And now the " Warrior" has gone her 

John. Sam, youdon'tknowwhat you're 
saying. How can you talk about the "War- 
rior" when you've never even so much as 
laid eyes on the ship? 

Sam. Well, have youf 

John. Yea — I went to the launch to- 
day. 

Sam. You? 

Mrs. R. Why did you go, John? You 
never said a word to me. 

John. I went on business. 

Sam, You told me you had an appoint- 
ment with the bank. 

John. I only said that because I could n't 
stop to argue just then. 

Sam. So you said what was n't so. 

John. I said what was necesisary at the 
moment. I was n't going to leave you in 
the dark; never fear. 

Sam [curtly contTolUng kimself]. I see, 
[A slight pause, then Sam turns abruptly to 
Gertrude and says gently] Come and sing, 
dear. I have n't heard you sing for over a 
fortnight. 

Gbbt. [moned by the quarrel — after a 
pause in a low mice]. What shall I sing? 

Sam. Sing "Nita, Juanita." 

Gert. No! I heard Madame Sainton 
Dolby sing it last week. 

Sam. Dol — ^ to please me. 

[Gehtrudb turns towards the dou- 
ble doors and goes off in silence 
luifASAM. Ned is about to /oHou; 
instantly, but Mrs. Rhead stops 

Mrs. R. [whispering]. Give them just 
one instant alone. 

Ned. I beg pardon. My innocence at 
fault. [The song is heard.] [A pause.] Is 
that long enough? 

[Mrs. Rhead taps him, thert she 
goes off after the oiWs, fdlowed 
by Ned. A slight pause,] 



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MILESTONES 



Rose [moiiing towards the rfoors]. What 
a lovely voice she has ! 

John [abnipUy, closing the doors], 1 want 
to talk to you. 

Rose [nenxms and self-consdcus]. To me? 

JoHK, I wist I'd aaked you to come to 
that launch. 

Ro8B. Where was it? 

John. At Greenhithe; only two stations 
beyond the foundry. Would you have 
come? 

Rose. I should have loved to ... if 
Gertrude had come too. 

John [miising]. You should have seen 
her go into the water — the wave she 
made! All that iron — and rivetsi Iron, 
mind you. . . . And then float like a cork. 
I never was at a launch before, and it gave 
me a thrill, I can tell you. And I'm not 
easily thrilled. 

Rose [adoringly, but Tesiraining herself]. 
I'm sure you're not. I do wish I'd seen it. 
It must have been almost sublime. 

John. You'd have understood. You'd 
have felt like I did. Do you know how I 
know that? 

RoaE [shaking ker head]. No — 

John. By the way you said "how splen- 
did" when \ was telling the others just 

Rose. Really! 

John. Fact! That gave me more en- 
couragement in my schemes than any 
words I ever heard. 

Rose. Please don't say that. Gertrude 
is always on your side. She 's so like you in 
every way. 

John. Yes, Gertrude's all right. But 
she 'b got no poetry in her, Gertrude has n't. 
'That's the difference between you and her. 
She's very go-ahead; but she does n't feel. 

Rose [ftreolAfess]. Do I, John? [She looks 
dovm.] 

John. I'll tell you something ^ tears 
came into my eyes when that frigate took 
the water. Couldn't help it! [Rose raises 
her eyes to his.] In thirty years every big 
ship in the world will be built of iron. Very 
few people to-day believe in iron for ship- 
building, and I know there's a lot of silly, 
easy sarcasm about it ~ especially in the 
papers. But it's coming! It's coming! 



Rose [religiously]. I'm sure you're right. 

John. If only your father and your 
brother thought as you do! 

Rose [faintly]. Yes. 

John. I'm in theminority, you see; two 
partners against one. If my father had 
lived, I know which side he'd have been 
on! I should n't have been in the minority 
then. 

Rose. You'd have been equal. 

3oB.fi [entkuniasticoUy]. No! We should 
certainly have rolled your excellent father 
and brother straight into the Thames ! 

Rose [amiably protesting]. Please — 

John [smiling]. Forgive me — you know 
what 1 mean, don't you? 

Rose. I love to see you when you are 
enthusiastic ! 

John. It'ssoplain. We've got probably 
the largest iron foundry on Thames-side. 
But our business is n't increasing as quickly 
as it used to do. It can't. We've come to 
about the limit of expansion on present 
lines. Ship-building is simply waiting for 
us. There it is — asking to be picked up 1 
We're in iron. We know all about iron. 
The ships of the future will be built of 
nothing but iron. And we're right in the 
middle of the iat^est port in the world. 
What more can anyone want? But no! 
They won't see it 1 They — wiU — not — 

Rose, I wonder why they won't ! 

John. Simply because they can't. 

Rose. Thenoneoughtn'ttoblamethem. 

John, Blame them! Good Heavens, no! 
I don't blame them. 1 'm fond of them, and 
I rather feel tor them. But that's just why 
I want to smash them to smithereens! 
They've got to yield. The people who hve 
in the past must yield to the people who 
live in the future. Otherwise, the earth 
would begin to turn the other way round, 
and we should be back again in the eight- 
eenth century laefore we knew where we 
were, mating for the Middle Ages. 

Rose. Then you think a conflict is un- 
avoidable? 

John. Absolutely unavoidable! That's 
the point. It 's getting nearer every hour. 
. . - Why is your father not here to-night? 

Rose. I don't know, but I was afraid — 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



John. / know and Sam knows. It must 
be because he has heard somehow of a 
enterprise I am planning, and the news ha 
upset him. He's vexed. 

Rose. Poor dear old thing ! Then you 'v 
started a scheme already? 

John [noiis]. I have. But I can't carry 
it out alone. 

Rose. If there is one mar i the worid 
who could stand alone I should have sa d 
you were that man. 

John. I know. That s the unpress on I 
give. And yet nobody ever needed hel{ 
more than I do. I'm not all on tl e surface 
you know. 

Rose, What sort of 1 elp? 

John. Sympathy —un Iprstandi g 

Rose [low]. I see. 

John. Of course you "iee And that s 
why I suddenly decided I must ha\e a bit 
of a chat with you — this very night. It's 
forced on me. And I feel I 'm rather forcing 
it on you. But I can't help it — honestly I 
can't. Rose, you're on my side, aren't you? 

Rose. I believe you're in the right. 

John. Would you like to see me win — 
[silence] — or lose? 

Rose. I don't think I could boar to see 
you beaten, 

John. Well, then, help me! When you 
look at me with that trustful look of yoitrs, 
I can do anything — anything. No other 
woman's eyes ever had the same effect on 
me. It's only because you believe in me. 
No, that is n't thfe only reason; it is n't the 
chief reason. The chief reason is that I'm 
in love with you — there you have it! 

Rose [ainking her head]. Oh I — 

John [coming to her]. Curious I I've 
known you all my life. But I was n't aware 
of all that you meant to me, until these 
difficulties began. You're essentia! to me. 
You can't imagine how much depends on 
just you! 

Rose. Really? 

John. You're too modest, too womanly 
to realise it. Why, sometimes a tone of 
yours, a mere inflection, almost knocks me 
over — You are n't crying, surely? What 
are you crying for? 

Ro&E. It 'b too much for me, coming like 
this, with no warning. 



I'll s 



. Rose, be n 



1 tor you. No v 



! I '11 work for you, 






country shall have a finer position than 

Rose. I don't want a fine position — 
except for you, 

John. I'm not hard, really. 

Rose. But 1 like you to be hard. It's 
n hen ou re inflexible and brutal tiat I 
I ke J ou the most. 

loHN Then you do like me a little — 
somet nes' [Kisses her handi.] 

Rot,E I can't help telling you. I did n't 
hope for th s. Yes, I did. But the hope 
seemed absurd. Is this real — now? 

John My love! 

Rose John, you say I don't realise how 
much I mea to you. Perhaps I do though. 
But 3 mpossible for ymi to realise how I 
»ant to give my life to you, to serve you. 
No man could realise that. A woman could. 
I shall be your slave. [John looks at her 
mtk a little start.] Yes, I know it sounds 
queer for me to be talking like this. But I 
must. It thrills me to tell you. ... I shall 
be your slave. 

John. Don't make me afraid, my darUng! 

Rose. Afraid? 

John. Afraid of being unworthy. 

Rose. Please. ... [A slight pause.] Has 
the singing stopped? 

John. A long time ago. 

Rose. They'll be coming in, perhaps. 

John [vaguely without conviction]. No, 

Rose. What will your mother and Ger- 
trude say? 

John. You know as well as I do, they'll 
be absolutely delighted. 

Rose. And father? 

John [aJer%j. Rose, you 're mine, what- 



RosE. Oh, nothing must happen now! 
Nothing shall happen! 

John. But suppose I could n't carry out 
ray scheme without quarrelling with your 
father? And he refused his consent to our 
being married? 

Rose. My heart would be yours for ever 
and ever. But I could n't marry without 
father's consent. 

John. But — 

Rose. I could n't — 



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II 



John. Why not? 

Rose. It would not be right. 

John. But you love me? 

Rose. Yes, but 1 love father, too. And 
he's getting very old. And he's very de- 
pendent on me. In any case to give me up 
would be a great sacrifice for him. To lose 
me against his will — well, I don't know 
what would happen ! 

John. Aa Oiings are just now — he's 
bound to refuse. 

Rose. Butareyousosurehe won't have 
anything to do with your scheme? 

John. You heard Sam ! 

Rose. Yes; but you haven't discussed 
your plans very thoroughly with Sam. He 
seemed quite surprised. 

John. Suppose I speak to Sam to-night; 
tell him everything. At any rate, I shall 
know then where I stand. 

Rose. To-night? 

John. Now I I mi?A( win him over. Any- 
how, he'll do what he can to make things 
smooth for us with your father — surely ! 
After all, he's engaged to Gertrude! 

Robe. Just aa you think best. . . . And 
Sam's very fond of me, though he never 
shows it. 

John. Let me get it over now, instantly. 
Will you go in to the others? 

[Rose looks at him in sikttce, then 
rises and goes lo the double doors. 
John tlops her and solemnly 
and passionately kisses her, then 
opens the doors and she passes 
tkrough.] 

John [calling into Ike other room]. I say, 
Sam! Mother, I want a word with Sam 

[Samuel enters by the double doors. John 
closes them behind him.] 

Sam [suspicious, and not over friendly]. 
What is it? Not business, I hope? 

John [with a siuxesiffid eSort to be cordial]. 
No, no! 

Sam IfoUoming John's lead, and to make 
conversation], I was wondering what you 
and Rosie were palavering about. 

John. Samuel, you've gone right into 
the bull's-eye at the firstshot — Sam. I've 
just been through a very awkward moment. 



Sam. Oh, I see! That's it, is it? 

John. I've made a proposal of marriage 
to my partner's sister. Startling, ain't it? 

Sam. No! It you care to know, I was 
talking to your mother about it last week. 

John. About what? 

Sam. About the betting odds — whether 
it ivas more likely to come oft this year or 
next. Your mother was right, and I was 
wrong ^ by a couple of days. 

John [startled]. But you'd none of you 
the slightest ground. I 've never shown — 
Certainly Rose has never shown ■ — 

8am [teasingly]. No, of course not. But 
you know how people vnll gossip, and 
jump to conclusions, don't you? I know, 
I ivent through it myself, not very long 
ago either. I remember the clever way in 
which you all knew about it before I'd 
got half-way to the end of my first sen- 

JoHN. Sam, you're devilish tunny. 

Sam. Even the dullest old Tory is funny 
once in his life. Am 1 right in assuming 
that Rose did not unconditionally refuse 
your offer? 

John. She did me the honour to accept 
it. 

Sam. I must confess I'm not entirely 
suiprised that she did n't spurn you. 

John. All right, old cock. Keep it up. 
Idon'tmind. But when you're quite done, 
you might congratulate me. 

Sam [not effiisively]. I do, of course. 

John. I suppose you '11 admit, even as a 
brother, that I'd have to go rather far 
before I met a woman with half Rose's 
qualities. 

Sam. Yes, Rosie 's all right. Of course 
she's cold; she haan't got what I call 
poetry in her. That's the difference be- 
tween her and Gertrude. 

John [facing kini]. Do you honestly 
think Rose has no poetry in her? Rose? 

Sam. Easy does it, my tulip ! Have it 
your own way ! 

John [good kumouredly], I suppose 
where sisters are concerned, all brothers 

Sam. Well, I'm looking at one. We'rea 

John. Shake I [They shake kimds, Sam 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



ralher per/vTiclorily.] Now, Sam, I'm going 
to rely on you. 

Sam. What for? 

John, I don't think you had any fault 
to find with my attitude towards your 
engagement, had you? I welcomed it with 
both arms. Well, I want you to do the 

Sam. But, my dear fellow, I'm nobody 
in the affair. You're the head of a family; 
I'm not. 

John. But you have enormous influence 
with the head of a family, my boy. 

Sam [rather falsely]. Whyl Are you an- 
ticipating trouble witi the governor? 

JoHM, I'm not anticipating it — but 
you know as well as I do — probably much 
better — that he ain't very friendly dis- 
posed this last day or two. The plain truth 
is — he's sulking. Now why? Nothing 
whatever has passed between us except 
just e very-day business. 

Sam. Well, the fact is, he suspects you 're 
keeping something nasty up your sleeve 
for him. 

John. Has he told you? 

Sam [smnewhat pugnaciously]. Yes, he 

John. And what is it I'm supposed to 
have up my sleeve? 

Sam. Look here, Jack. I'm not here to 
be cross-examined. If there's anything up 
your sleeve, you're the person to know 
what it is. It's not my sleeve we're talking 
about. Why don't you play with the cards 
aa the table? 

John. I'm only too anxious to play 
with the cards on the table. 

Sam. Then it is business you really 
wanted to talk about after all ! 

John [moEement of irritation concealed]. 
I expect your father's heard about me and 
Macleans, though how it's got abroad I 
can't imagine. 

Sam, Macleans? Macleans of Green- 
hithe? 

John. Yes. That's what's worrying the 
old man, is n't it? 

Sam. I don't know. 

John. He has n't mentioned Macleans 

Sam. He has not. He is n't a great 



talker, you know. He merely said to me 
he suspected you were up to something. 

John. And what did you say? 

Sam. Briefly, I said I thought you were. 
[Disgustedly.] But, by gad I I never 
dreamed you were hobnobbing with the 
Maclean gang. 

John. Macleans are one of the oldest 
shipbuilding firms in the South of England. 
I went to the launch to-day with Andrew 
Maclean. 

8am. What's ship-building got to do 
with us? 

John. It's got nearly everything to 
do with us. Or it will have. Now listen, 
Sammy, I'vearrangedaprovisionalagree- 
ment for partnership between Maeleans 
and ourselves. 

Sam. You've -~ 

John. Half a minute. Macleans are 
rather flattered at the idea of a connection 
with the august firm of Sibley, Rhead and 
Sibley. 

Sam. By God! I should think they were. 
iWaiks axvay.] 

JoHi*. They've had an output of over 
25,000 tons this year. All wood. Naturally 
they want to go in for iron. They'll pay 
handsomely for our help and experience. 
In fact, I've got a draft agreement, my 
boy, that is simply all in our favour, 

Sam, Did you seriously suppose — 

John. Let me finish. It's a brilliant 
agreement. In three years it'll mean the 
doubling of our business. And we shall 
have the satisfaction of being well-estab- 
lished in the great industry of the future. 
Your father's old. I don't expect him to be 
very enthusiastic about a new scheme. 
But you're young, and you caji influence 
him. He'l! be retiring soon, and you and 
I will be together — just the two of us. 
We 're marrying each other's sisters, Andwe 
shall divide an enormous fortune, my boy. 

Sam. And have you had the impudence 
to try to make an agreement behind our 
backs? 

John [controlling himself]. I've made no 
agreement, I've only got the offer. It's 
open to you to refuse or accept. I only 
held my tongue about it so as to keep the 
job as easy as possible. 



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Sam. You had no right to approach any- 
one without consulting us. 

Joew. Iwasgoing to tell you to-morrow. 
But I guessed from your fatJier's attitude 
these last two days that something had 
leaked out. That's why I'm telling you 
first, Sam — t<)-night. Come now, look at 
the thing calmly ^ reasonably. Don't 
condemn it offhand. A very great deal 
depends on your decision ^ more than you 
think. 

Sam. I don't see that anything particu- 
lar depends on my decision. If we refuse, 
we refuse. And we shall most decidedly 
refuse. 

John. But it's impossible you should be 
60 blind to the future! Impossible! 

Sam. See here, John! Don't you make 
the mistake of assuming that any man who 
does n't happen to agree with you is a 
blind tool. To begin with, it is n't polite. 
I know you do think we're blind, old- 
fashioned, brainless dolts, father and I. 
We've both felt that for some time. 

John. I think you 're blind to tJie future 
of iron ships, that's all. 

Sam. Well, shall I tell you what we 
think of youf We think you 've got a bee 
in your bonnet. That's all. We tliink 
you're a faddist in the style of Ned 
Pym's aoble uncle ! 

John [his lipa curling]. Me like Lord 
Monkhurst! Ha! 

Sam. Precisely. Don't you go and im- 
agine that all the arguments are on one side. 
They are n't. Five-sixths of the experts in 
England have no belief whatever in the 
future of iron ships. You know that ! Iron 
ships indeed! And what about British oak? 
Would you build ships of the self-same 
material as bridges? Why not stone ships, 
then? Oh, yes, I know there's a number of 
faddists up and down the land — anything 
in the nature of a novelty is always bound 
to attract a certain t3T)e of brain. Unfor- 
tunately we happen to have that t3T)e of 
brain just now in the Cabinet. I quite 
agree with my father that the country is 
going to the dogs. Another Reform Bill 
this y^ar ! And actually an attempt to re- 
peal the paper duty. But, of course, people 
who believe in iron ships would naturaJIy 



want to unsettle the industrial classes by a 
poisonous flood of cheap newspapers ! How- 



ehadei 



leleft 



to knock both those schemes on the head. 
And I've no doubt the sagacity of the 
country will soon also put an end to this 
fantastic notion of iron ships. 

John [quietly], I see. 

Sam. Oh, don't think I'm not fond of 
iron! Iron means as much to me as it does 
to you. But I flatter myself I can keep my 
balEmce. [More quietly.] We did n't expect 
this of you, John, with your intellect. 

John [as before]. Very well. 

S.*M. I've made'it clear, have n't I? 

John. Quite. 

Sam. That's all right. 

John [still qmetly]. Only I shall dissolve 
partnership. 

Sam. Dissolve partnership? What for? 

John. I shall go on with Macleans alone. 

Sam. You don't mean it. 

John. I mean every single word of it ! 
[He rises. They look at each other.] 

Sam. Then I can tell you one thing. You 
won't marry Rosie. 

John. Why sha'n't I marry Rosie? 

Sam. After such treachery. 

John [raising kie voice]. Treachery! I 
merely keep my own opinion — I leave 
you to yours. 

Sam. Do you think father will let yo.4 
drag Rose into this fatuous scheme t,f 
yours? Do you think he'll give his daugh- 
ter to a traitor? 

John [sarcastic and cold]. Don't get on 
stilts. [Then suddenly bursting out.] And 
what has my marriage got to do with youf 
When I want your father's opinion, I'll go 
to your father for it. 

Sam. Don't try to browbeat me, John. 
I know my father's mind, and what's 
more, you know I know it. And I repeat, 
ray father will never let his daughter marry 

John [shouting]. Silence! 
[Enter Mas. Rhead by the double doors, fol- 
lowed by Ned Pym, GEBTauDE, and 
Rose. The women remain sOent.] 
Nbd [facetiously coming forward]. Why 
silence? Go on. We've only owae in be- 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



oa\ise we thought it might interest us. 
What's it all about? A hint wia suffice. 

John. Ned, you're a blundering donkey, 
and you will be a blundering donkey to the 
end of your life. 

Ned. My one desire is to please, 

GkBT. [coming lo S*m, in a quM, firm 
lone], Sam, what's the matter? 

Sam. Nothing! We must go! Rosie, get 
ready, [Very respectfully to Mrs. Rhead.] 
I'm Borry to break up the evening. 

Gert. But you can't go like this. 

Sam [jmth deference]. My dear Gertrude, 
please leave matters to your brother and 
me. You're a woman, and there are 
things — 

Gest. [sloppinff Mm]. It is possible I am 
a woman, but I'm a reasonable creature, 
and I intend to be treated as such. 

Mrs, R. [I'ery upset]. My dear child, re- 
member you are speaking to your future 
husband, 

Gert. That's just why I'm speaking as 
I am. I ask Sam what's the matter — 
[seamfully] — and he says " Nothing." Am 
I a child? Arc we all children? 

8am [cTirtly], Come, now. Rose. 

Gert, And why must Rose go off like 
this? She's engaged to John. 

Sam, Who told you? 

Gert. Her eyes told me when she came 
out of this room. 

Mb8. R. We all knew it, and no word 

Baid. We've been expecting it for weeks. 

[Mhs. Rhead and Rose embrace.] 

Sam. You are mistaken, Gertrude. Rose 
is not engaged to John, and she is not 
likely to be, 

Gert. You object? 

Sam. I do, and I know my father well. 

Gert. You object to John tor a brother- 
in-law? John ! Why? — You might at least 
condescend to tell Rosie, if not me. It's an 
affair that rather interests her, you see. 

Sam. If you must know, John is going to 
leave our firm. 

Mrs. R. John? 

Sam, He thinks my father and I are old- 
fashioned, and so he 's leaving us. 

Mrs. R. John! Leave the firm? Surely 
you're not thinking of breaking up Rhead 
and Sibley? 



Sam. bibley, Rhead — and Sibley. 

Mrs. R. It was Rhead ajid Sibley in my 
young days, when your father and John's 
were founding it. John, you cannot mean 
it! 

Sam [sarcastically]. He's going to build 

Gert. And is that any reason why you 
should make poor Rosie unhappy and spoil 
her life? 

Sam. I do not propose to argue. 

Gert. The man who does not propose 
to argue with me is not going to be my 
husband. 

Mrs. R, Gertrude! 

Gert. llooking at Sam]. I mean it. 

(Sam boivs.l 

Mes. R. Please don't listen to her, Sam, 

Sam. All my apologies, Mrs. Rhead. 

Gert. And you, Rosie, what do you say 
to all this? 

Rose [humbly and tearfully]. I — I 
hardly understand. Sam, what is the 
matter? 

John [canting to Rose]. It's quite simple. 
I believe in the future of iron ships and I 
have the courage of my convictions. 
Therefore you are not to be allowed to 
marry me. You see the connection is per- 
fectly clear. But you shall marry me, all 
the same! 

Sam [confidently]. You don't know my 

Ned [(0 Sam, /ace(ious(j/]. And you don't 
know John. 

Sam [tvming to Ned, firmly]. Ned, go 
and order my carriage, there's a good 
fellow. 

Ned [going off by Ike door into the hall]. 
Oh, very well. 

[He closes Ike door behind him.] 

Mrs. R. John, John, why are you so set 
in your own ideas? Everything was going 
perfectly smoothly. We were all so happy. 
And now you must needs fall out with your 
partners over iron ships. Do you prefer 
your iron ships to Rose's happiness and 
your own? Is everything to be sacrificed to 
iron ships? 

John. There need be no question of sac- 
rifice, if — 

Sam. If you can have it your own way. 



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Ot course. Mrs. Rhead, your son wants to 
risk the ruin of all of qs. Now, so far as we 
Sibleya are concerned, we won't allow him 
to do so. If he stJU persists in his purpose, 
very well, that's kis look-out. Only ^ he 
can hardly be surprised if Eose's family 
object — and very strongly — to letting him 
make her his wife. One does not entrust 
onefs daughter or one's sister to a traitor. 

Gebt, Sam, don't be childish! 

Sam [draunng himself up]. I beg your 

Mrs. R. John, I'm your mother. Listen 
to me. Give up this idea of yours. For my 
sake — for the sake of all of us. 

John. I cannot. 

Mrs. R. But if it means so much un- 

JoHN. I should be ashamed of myself 
if I gave it up, I believe in it. It's my 
reUgion. 

Mas, R. John, I beg you not to be pro- 

JoHN [a litde quieter]. I cannot give up 
my idea, mother. I should be a coward to 
give it up. 1 should be miserable for the 
rest of my days. I could never look anyone 
in the face, not even my wife. 

[Enter Ned fr<m the hall.] 

NBn [to Sam in a flunkey's voice]. Car- 
riage is waiting, my lord. 

Sam. Now, Rose ! Good evening, Mrs. 
Rhead. 

Gert. Just a moment. [Dramng a ring 
off her finger], Ned! Hand this ring to IVIr. 
Sibley with my compliments 

Ned. Mustl? 

Gert. Yea. 

Nen [taking the ring]. The donkej be 
(iomes a beast of burden. [Handing ring to 
Sam.3 Sam, you get this, but jou lose 
something that's worth a lot more 

Sam [taking the ring]. Of course I have 
no alternative. 

Rose. Good-bye John. 

Mrs. R. John, she's gomg WJl you 
let her? 

John [riaidl;/]. I cannot give up my idea. 

Sam [going into the haU as Rose stands 
hesitating]. Come along, child. I'mwaiting. 

Rose [moving a step towards John]. 



Stick to your idea! Let me go! I love you 
ali the more for it ! 
John. Don't worry. Rose. The future 

Rose [looking straight at him]. I — 

[Her emotion gets (Ae better of htr; 
she turns quidcly and hurries from 
the room.] 
Gert. [blanldy, in spite of herself]. The 

[She sinks down on a sofa and bursts 
into sobs. John stands, looking 
after Rose.] 



1885 

The Scene represents the same drawing- 
room, as in Act 1. But iweniy-jive years have 
parsed. We are now in the year 1885. Con- 
seq'iendy great changes have occurred. The 
furniture lias been re-arranged and added to. 
The flowered carpet of the first Act has given 
place to an Indian carpet. There are new 
ornaments amongst some of the old imes. The 
room is over-crowded ivith furniture in the 
taste of the period. 

It is about four o'clock of an (^temoon in 
June. The curtairis are draien bock and the 
sun is shining brightly outside. 

Rose SiBLSr, now Mrs. John Rhead, 
forty-six years of age and dressed in the fash- 
ion of 1S85 her hair slightly grey at the tem- 
ples IS seated u nting some notes at a desk 
near the wxndous. Nev Pym enters from the 
hall followed by John Rhead, The former 
has developed lytto a well-presereed, florid, 
sltgltUy self-sufficii.nt man of forty-six. The 
latter, now fifty, has not changed so much 
phyncally except thai his hair is grey and his 
features hate beco'ne muck firmer. But his 
manner has grown eien more self-assured 
than it uas m the first Act. He is in fact a 
person of aiithonty, the sveces^ui rnan whose 
word ^s taw. 

John. Oh, you are there, Rosie, I've 
brought a person of importance to see you. 

Robe [rtaingl. Ned — 

[They shake hands.] 



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n't say what you 

I going to say' 
a stranger eini 



Ned. Now pleasi 
were going to say. 

Rose. And what 

Ned. That I'm quite 
came into the title. 

Rose [curlse]/ing and leasing]. Lord 
Monkhurst, we are only too flattered — I 
was merely going to say that you look 
younger than ever. 

Ned [serwuaJj'j. Don't I? That's what 
everyone says. Time leaves m.e quite un- 
changed, don't you know. 

John. In every way. How old are you, 
Ned? 

Ned [imth a sigh]. Well, I shall never see 
thirty again. 

John. What about forty? 

Ned. Or forty either. But my proud 
boast is I'm nearer forty tlian fifty. 

John. Well, it can only be by a couple of 
months. 

Ned. Sh! — It's a lot more than you 
Bay, Jack. 

John. I was fifty in April. There's just 
five years' differenpe between us. 

Rose \to Ned]. You look more like John's 

Ned. Say nephew; don't be too hard on 

Rose. But I do wish you would go out 
of mourning. It does n't suit you. 

Ned. Not these beautiful continuations? 

Rosa. Nol 

Ned, WeH, I'm awfully sorry. But I 
can't oblige you yet. Pleaae remember I've 
got three sudden deaths to work off. I 
think that when a man loses a harsh but 
beloved uncle in a carriage accident, and 
two amiable cousins through a misunder- 
standing about toadstools, all in twelve 
months, why — [gesture] — the least he can 
do is to put himself unreservedly into the 
hands of his tailor. 

Rose. I — 

John [stopidng her, kindly but rather 
tyrannicallyl. Now enough of this graceful 
badinage. Ned and I are here on business. 
What are you up to, there, Rose? 

Rose [wiiA eager aubmiesiveness). I was 
doing the invitations for the dinner, or 
rather for the reception. 

John, Good, I've got some more names 



in my study. You'd better come in there 
with me. 

Rose. Yes, love. 

Ned, Am I invited to this dinner? ] gen- 
erally get very hungry about eight o'clock 
at nights. 

Rose [tsasing]. Yes, I think I put you 
down. It's our wedding-day, 

Ned, Don't tell me how long you've 
been married. It would age me ! 

Rose. Considering that we have a 
daughter who is turned twenty-two. 

John. Yes, Ned, you must face the facts 
bravely. Old Mr. Sibley died in January, 
I860 — 

Rose, Sixty-one, love. 

John [after a froxim at being eorrected]. 
Sixty-one. And we were married in June 
of the following year. Surely you recall the 
face Sam pulled when he gave my little 
Rosie away. 

Rose. But, love, it was a great conces- 
sion for him to give me away at all, was n't 
it? 

John. Oh, yes! 

Rose. By the bj'e, he's coming up to 
town this afternoon, 

John. What, here? 

Ned. Oh! But I ought to see old Sam. 

Rose, Stay for tea, and you'll sec him 
and his wife, too. 

Ned. His wife? His what did you say? 

Roes. Now, Ned, it's no use pretending 
you don't know all about it, 

Ned. 1 remember hearing a couple of 
years ago, before I went to India, that 
Sam had staggered his counting-house by 
buying one of these new type-writing ma- 
chines, and getting a young woman to 
work it for him. 

Rose. That's the person. Her name is 
Nancy. 

Ned. Is it? Only fancy; Nancy, Nancy, 
in the counting-fioKsc' 1 say — are these 
girl-clerks or clerk-girls going to be a regu- 
lar thing? What's coming over the world? 

John [sftoftes his head]. Passing craze! 
Goes with all this Votes-for- Women agita- 
tion and so on. You'll see, it won't last a 
year — not a year! Of course, Sam — sus- 
ceptible bachelor of fifty and over — just 
the man to fall a victim. Inevitable! 



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Rose. Siie'savery well-meaning, honest 
creature. 

Nbd. You intimate with her, Eose? 

Rose. I went to see her several times 
after she had her baby. They're living at 
Brockley. 

Nbd. Baby! Brockley I No more type- 
writing then. The typewriter has served 
its tura — eh? — Of course it was a great 
catch tor her, 

John. Yes, but it would n't have been 
if Samuel had n't sold out, 

Ned. How much did he retire with 
about? 

John. Well, you see he was losing three 
thousand a year. He got £20,000 net cash. 

Ned. I'm not a financier, but £20,000 
cash in exchange for a loss of £3,000 a year 
does n't seem so bad I Think of the money 
he'd have made though, if he'd taken up 
with your ideas 1 

John [ironically]. You recollect the folly 
of iron ships? And the bee in my bonnet? 
[Laughs.] There were only four wooden 
steamships built in this country last year. 
The rest were iron; and I was responsible 
tor half a dozen of 'em. 

Ned. What's all this talk about steel for 
ships? 

John [disdainf'uUy]. Just talk. 

Ned. WeU, of course, if you're building 
at the rate of six steamers a year, I can 
understand your generosity in the matter 
of subscriptions. 

Rose. He is generous, is n't he? 

Ned. Told your wife about your latest 
contribution? 

John. No, I ws 

Rose [proudly]. 

John. And Rosie always approves, don't 
you, Rosie? Ah! The new generation can't 
show such wives. 

Rose [eagerly]. WeU? 

John. I 've decided to give ten thousand 
pounds to the party funds — politics, you 

Ned. You see, it's to save the country. 
That's what it amounts to practically, in 
these days. / know, since I've gone into 
politics. 

Rose. How noble! I'm so glad, John. 



IS just going to, 
John tells me every- 



Nbd. And the great secret — shall I tell 
her, or will you, Jack? 

John. Go on. 

Ned. How should you like your husband 
to be a baronet. Rose? 

Rose. A baronet? 

Ned. Sir John Ehead, Bart., and Lady 
RheadI 

Rose [ecstatic]. Is he going to be? 

Ned, As soon as our side comes into 
power — ajid we shall be in power in a 
month. John 'II be on the next Honours' 

Rose. In a month ! 

Ned, The Budget's bound to be thrown 
out. They're trying to increase the taxes 
on beer and spirits — I've studied the 
question deeply. I know what will happen. 

Rose. How magnificent! 

John Then you approve? [Rose kisses 
Jonti fondly]. That's all we've called in 
tor, just to make sure. 

Rose [weeping]. I — 

John. What's the matter? 

Rose. I 'm only sorry we have n't had a 

Ned. There, there! I'm sure you did 
your best. Rose. 

Rose [to John]. Are they making you a 
baronet because you're giving ten thou- 
sand to the party funds? 

Ned. Mydearwomanl Of course not! 
That's pure coincidence. 

Robe [convinced]. Oh I 

Ned. Your beloved John will be made a 
baronet solely on account of his splendid 
services to commerce. Does n't he deserve 
it? 

Rose. No one better. Do you know, 1 
can scarcely believe it. Who — ? Tell me 
all about it, 

John. Well, it's thanks to Ned in the 
first place. 

Rose. To Ned? 

Ned [pretending to be ftiiri]. You need n't 
be so surprised. Rose. You seem to be un- 
aware that 1 've gone into politics. Don't 
you read the newspapers? 

Rose. No, I leave the newspapers to my 
daughter. 

Ned. It you did, you'd know that I 
made a. sensation in the Indian Debate, in 



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the House of Lords. All that Afghanistaa 
business, don't you know. 

Rose. Really! 

Ned. Oh, I became quite a Nob, at once. 
Bit of luck me having gone to India, 
wasn't it? I'd spent the best part of a 
month in India; so, of course, I knew all 
about it. 

Rose [sotemnly]. Of course. 

Ned. Theleaderof the Opposition said I 
had a great future! 

John. No doubt. 

Ned [simply]. 1 shall specialise in India 
and the Navy. You see my father being a 
rear-admiral, I ought to be familiar with 
the subject. If feilowe like me don't begin 
to take an interest in our neglected Navy, 
England '11 be playing second fiddle to 
Russia in five years' time. Mark my word, 
in 1800. In 1890. 

Rose, Perhaps you'll be in the Govern- 
ment some day? 

Ned. There's no "perhaps" about it. 
I shall! There's only oae difficulty. 

Rose. What's that? 

Ned [mysleriously and important]. I'm 
told I ought to marry. 

John [rather self-consciouBty]. Nothing 



a fact. 

Rose. None suit^le? 

Ned, I'm afraid of 'em. It's no joke 
going and marrying a perfect stranger. I 
want somebody I know — somebody I've 
known all my life, or at least all hers. 

Rose, And can't you find her? 

Ned. I can. I have done. 

Rose. Who is it, may one ask? 

Ned. Jack knows. 

John [turning to Robe and clearing his 
tkroatj. Ned would like to marry into our 
family. Rose. 

Ned [eagerly]. You know I 've been dead 
sweet on Emily for a couple of years at 

RoaK [after a pause]. I know you're very 
fond of her, and she of you. 

Ned [as above]. You tiink she is, really? 

Rose. But it seems so queer. 

JonM [fKremp!or%]. How queer? We're 



respectable enough for the young rascal, 

Rose. Of course. It would be ideal — 
ideal ! My poor little Emily ! 

Ned. Well, I've got that off my chest. 
I'll be moving, I must be at the Carlton at 
three-thirty to settle up John's business 
with the panjandrum. 

Rose, You'll come back for tea. She'U 
be here. 

[Enter from the hall Emily ajid Gertrude. 
Both are dressed to go out. Emily is a 
handsome girl of twenty'two. Shehasfine 
gualUies, combining her father's plvck 
iinth her moiher's loving nature. But she 
has been rather spoilt by her parents. 
Gebtbotie follows. She has groum into 
a faded, acidy spinster with protective 
impulses for her niece, Emilt, on whom 
she spends aU her suppressed maiemal 
feelings.] 
Emily [slightly disconcerted]. Why, 
father ! How is it you arc n't at the works 
this afternoon earning our bread-and- 
butter? 

John [delighted]. Such impertinence! 

Rose. Emily, I really wonder at you! 

What your grandmother Rhead would have 

said to such manners it she'd been alive, 

I dare n't think. And Lord Monkhurst 

Emily. Well, mamma, you see, grand- 
mother isn't alive! [To Ned, vrho, after 
shaking hands mlh Gertbtide, advances 
tov!ards her]. And as for dear old Uneie 
Ned — [Ned, John, and Robe are all some- 
what put about by this greeting. Ned Aesi- 
tates, his hand half out.] Are n't you going 
to shake hands, then? 

Ned [shaking hands]. Why "uncle"? 
You've never called me uncle before? 

Emily. Have n't I? It seems to suit you. 

Ned. I'm severely wounded. And I 
shall retire into my wigwam until you make 

Robe. You really arc very pert, Emily. 

Emily [a;ffectiimalety]. I should have 
thought you would adore being my uncle. 
I'm sure I like you lots more than I like 
Uncle Sam, for instance. 

Ned. That 's better. I'm peeping out of 



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MILESTONES 



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my wigwam now. Only I won't be your 
uncle, I won't be anybody's uncle. I don't 
mind being your cousin, if that's any use 

Geht. [sharply]. He's afraid of being 
taken for the same age as your auntie, 
darling. 

Ned [to Gbrtkodb]. Half a moment, 
Gertrude, and I'll try to think of a compli- 
ment that will turn your flank. 

Gebt. My flank, Ned? 

Ned. I mean — 

Emily [to her parents and Ned]. Where 
were you all off to? 

Rose. Your father and I are going to the 
study. 

Ned. And I 'm going on an errand, but 
I shan't be long. 

John. And may we ask where you and 
Auntie Gertrude are "off to," Miss In- 
quisitive? 

Gebt. Oh, Mr. Preece is calling for us to 
take us to the Royal Academy. 

Emily. And then we shall have tea at 
the new Hotel M^tropole, in Northumber- 
land Avenue. It's the very latest thing. 

John [in a different tone], Preece? But 
he was here last Sunday. 

EuiLY. Yea, it was then we arranged 
it. 

John, I don't like the idea ot your see- 
ing so much of Preece. And your moUier 
does n't like it, either. 

Rose. No, indeed! 

Gbht. But why not? He's the cleverest 
man in your works. You've often said so. 

John. He may be the cleverest man in 
my works; but he isn't going to be the 
cleverest man in my house. Who gave him 
leave to take half a day off, I should like to 

Gert. He said he had business in the 
West End. 

Emily [to Ned]. Now it you want to 
make yourself useful as a cousin, please 
explain to these called-so parents that they 
ought n't to spoil me one day, and rule me 
with & rod of iron the next. It's not fair. 
It's very bad for my disposition. 

Ned [to John]. Is this man-about-town 
the same Preece you were telling me of? 

Emily. There you are, you see! He fells 



everyone about Mr. Preece. He's as proud 
aa Punch of Mr. Preece. 

John [rtwre Mndly]. Arthur Preece is a 
youth that I discovered in my drawing 
office. Last year I took out a patent for 
him for bending metal plates at a low tem- 
perature ; and it 's attracted some attention. 
But our relations are purely business. 

Geht. Still, it was you who first asked 
him to the house. 

John [drily]. It was. And Rose kept him 
for lea. It's all our fault aa usual. How- 
ever — [rising] — you'll kindly tell Master 
Prijece that you can't give yourselves the 
pleasure of his society this afternoon. 

Emily. But why? 

John [continuing]. And if he's obstrep- 
erous, inform him tiiat / am in my study, 
and rather anxious to know exactly what 
his business in the West End is. 

Emily [insisting]. But why, father? 

John [firmly]. Simply because your 
mother and I wish you to be in this after- 
noon. Uncle Sam and Aunt Nancy are 
coming, for one thing. 

'Emii.y [disdai^f1dty]. Uncle Sam 1 Aunt 
Nancy 1 

Rose. Emily! J won't have you bandy- 
ing words with your father; you seem to 
have lost all sense of respect. 

Emilt [to Ned anffrily]. Are n't they 
tyrants! 

[She goes to a little table and takes 
off her bonnet, in a quick an- 
noyed way.] 

Rose [very politely and nicely ta Ger- 
tkudb]. Gertrude, if you are n't going out, 
could you come into the study about those 
addresses? 

Gebt. [somewhat snappishly, taking Em- 
ily's bonnet]. Of course! 

[She goes out quickly.] 

John [to Ned). Well, you've got to be 
off then, for the moment. 

[All are near the door now, except 
Emily, who is drawing off her 



Robe [in a ImD voice to Ned]. Till tea, 

[She goes out, nodding her head sig- 
nificantly,] 
Ned [hesitating]. Yea. [To John.) But 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



1 must just kiss the hand of this new cousin 
of mine first. 

John [in a peculiar Ume]. Ohi All Right! 
[He follows Rose.] 

NsD [going up to Emily, whose face is 
iuTTied away ingratiatingly]. Now, I 'm not 
included in this frown, am I? 

Emilv Ifacing kim and bursting mit]. But 
don't you think it's a, shame, seriously? 

Ned. Of course if you've promised Mr. 
Preece, and don't want to disappoint 

Emily [uriih false UgfUness]. Oh, Mr. 
Preece is nothing to me ! Only I do want to 
know where I am. The fact is they let me 
do as I tike in little things, and they're 
frightfully severe in big things. Not really 
big thing a, but — you know — 

Ned. Middling big things. 

Emily. Aiter all 1 'm twenty-two. 

Ned. a mature age. 

Emily [huffily]. Oh I Naturally you take 
their side I 

Ned. Honour bright, I don't! I tell you 
I feel far more like your age than theirs. 
I'm much younger than your father — 
much! That's why I don't like being called 

Emily. Really? 

Ned. Really. 

Emily [confidentially]. And there's an- 
other thing. They ought n't to treat Auntie 
Gertrude like that, ought they? She's got 
more brains than anybody else here. 

Ned, Than your father? 

Emily. No, not than father. 1 meant 
mother, and Uncle Sam, and me — and 

Emily. Who is it runs the house? You 
don't suppose it's mother, do you? Mother 
is absorbed in father, quite absorbed in 
him. No! It's auntie does everything. 
And yetshe'snobody, simply nobody. She 
arranges to take me out, and they stop it 
without so much as apologisii^ to her. 

Ned. Well, you see, she's an old maid. 

Emily. I don't care whether she's an 
old maid or not. She's the only friend I 
have. Father and mother are most awfully 
fond of me and all that, and mother is 
sweet, is n't she? But still that makes no 



difference. There are two camps in this 
house; they 're in one, and auntie and I are 
in the other. And I tell you we have to be 
regular conspirators, in self-defence. Of 
course I'm trusting you. 

Ned [who has been, playing with a book he 
has picked up from a !a6(c]. You may. 

Emily. For instance, they won't let me 
teadOuida. They don't even like auntie to 
read Ouida. 

Ned. This isn't Ouida. 

Emily. I know it is n't. That's William 
Black. They're always throwing William 
Black at me, and I hate him. I want to 
read Ouida. 

Ned. You must wait til! you 're married. 

Emilt, I won't. And I do so want to go 
to the Hotel Mfitropole. 

Ned. I thought it was the Royal Acad- 

Emily. The Academy too. 

Ned. Look here, Emily. Suppose I ar- 
range a littJe theatre party? 

Emily. Not with father and mother. 
They'll want to go to something silly. 

Ned. No. Just your auntie and me — 
and you, of course. 

Emily. Will you? 

Ned. Rather! 

Emily. You're quite coming out. Bui 
will they allow it? 

Ned. You bet they will. 

Emily. Where? 

Ned. Anywhere you like. 

Emily. Do you know "The Mikado's" 
been running (iiree months, and I have n't 
seen it yet? 

Ned. "Here'sa 'Howd' youdol'" The 
Savoy then. 

Emily. Oh! Hurrah! Hurrah! Thanks; 
you are a dear. 

Ned Ipkaaedl Am I? That's all right 
then. Aurevoir. [Turns to the dotn-.] 

^MihY [calling kim back]. Cousin! [She 
beckons him to come to her.] What's this 
secret between you and father and mother? 

Ned. What secret? 

Emily [crossly]. Now you need n't pre- 
tend. I could see it as plain as anything 
when I came in. And when they went out 
too, for that matter. 

Ned. I can't stand being bullied. 



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Emily. Tell me, and I won't bully you. 

Ned [aohmnly]. You're going to be re- 
lated to a baronet. 

Emilt [disturbed]. They don't want me 
to marry a baronet, do they? 

Ned, Foolish creature! No. It's the 
opposite camp that's about to receive a 
title. 

Emily [delighted]. Father — a baronet ! 

Nbd. I'm just ofl to make the final 
arrangements now. 

Emily, Truly? 

Ned. Don't be misled by my modest 
exterior, I'm a terrific nob ^really. 

[He turns U> go.] 

Emily [as he is going]. Did n't you say 
something about kissing my hand? One of 
your jokes, I suppose. 

{Ned comes and kisses it, then hur- 



othed: 



. As he ojiened i 



he looks back ami says " The 
Mikado" and hurries out. Em- 
ily stands a moment lost in 
thought, a smile on^ her lips. Then 
she hums, quite unconsciously, 
"For he's going to marry Fum- 
Yum, Yum-Yum!" Goes back 
to the Icble on which the William 
Black is lying, picks it up — 
opens a, reading a bit, (fen flings 
Ike book aside, miiUering in dis- 
gust, "Blaek!"] 
[Thompson enters. He has grown old in the 
service of the Rheads.J 
TaOMPiSow [announcing], Mr. Preece. 

[He withdraws.] 
[Arthur Pbeecg enters. His age is twenty- 
five; he is a man of the clerk class, whose 
talent and energy have made him whfit 
he is. He is full of enthusiasm, earnest, 
but Willi a rough sense of humour. Rather 
short and stocky in figure, but impor- 
tant. His clothes are neat and useful — 
but very stinpfo,] 
pREECii [excited]. Good afternoon, Miss 
Rhead. I'm afraid I'm a little early, 

Emily {putting on the manner of a woman 
of the iBorld]. Not at all, Mr. Preece. I'm 
sure Auntie Gertrude will be delighted, 

Preece [vagudy]. She's not here now, 
four aunt? 



Emily [looking round]. No. 

I'reecb [eagerly]. I wonder if I should 
have time to tell you something before she 
conies in. It is n't that it's a secret. But 
nobody knows yet, and I should like you 
to be the first. 

Emily. How very kind of you, Mr. 
Preece! 

I'reecb. I've only just known it myself. 

Emily. It seems to be very thrilling. 

Preece. It is, rather. It'sjust this. I've 
succeeded in making mild steel nearly five 
per cent lighter than it's ever been made 
before. Nearly five per cent lighter, and no 
extra cost. 

Emily. Really! How much is five pet 
cent? 

Preece. It's one-twentieth part. You 
know, it's enormous. 

Emily. I suppose it is. 

Preece. Idajesay you don't quite real- 
ise what it means — this enormous change 
in the specific gravity. But it is enormous. 

Emily. What is specific gravity? In a 

Preece. It's — well — Now supposing 
— Do you mind if 1 explain that to you 
some other time? I'd like to, awfully I 

Emily. Oh! Anytime! 

Preece. It's quite O.K., you know. 
And the thing comes to this. Assume the 
steel for a biggish ship cost £20,000. Under 
my new process you'd get the same result 
with steel that weighed about a twentieth 
lessandcost, roughly, £19,000. Net saving 
of nearly one thousand pounds ! 

Emily [impressed]. And did you — 

Preece [continuing]. And not only that. 
As the hull weighs so much less, you can 
csjTy a proportionately heavier cargo in 
the same bottom, 

Emily. Well, I never heard of such a 
thing! And am I really the first to know? 

Preece. You are. 

Emily. And you found out this all alone? 

Preece. Oh, yes! Except the manager, 
nobody has any idea of what I've been 



Emily. Not even father? 
Preece. No. 

Emily. I suppose he knows you c 
experimenting. 



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Pbbece. Of course. That's my job. 
That's what he took me out of the drawing 
office for. I 'm always experimenting on 
something. 

Emilt. I expect you're what they call 
an inventor. 

Pbebcb [humoroudy]. I expect I am. 
[Eagerly.] I'd practically finished this ex- 
periment a week ago. But 1 had to make 
sure whether there was any manganese left 
in the steel. I've been getting a friend at 
the City and Guilds of London Institute 
to analyse it for me — you know, the big, 
red building in Exhibition Road. I've just 
come from there, 

Emily. So IMt was your business in the 
West End? [Pbebce nods.] I'm sure 
auntie and I had n't an idea it was any- 
thing halt so romantic. 

PiuiECE. It is romantic, is n't it? 

Emily. No wonder you're ho excited. 

Pheecb. Ami? Well, I don't care! It's 
allright. That's all I care about. Here'sa 
bit of the steel now. 

[He ofers her a small sample.] 

Emily. Is it for me? May I keep it? 

Pbebce. I want you to. 

EuiLY. Rather a strange thing for a girl 
to keep, is n't it? 

Preece. You don't mind — 

Emily. I'd part with all my jewellery 
before I parted with this. D' you know, it 
makes me feel very proud. And when I 
think of poor old father not knowing any- 
thing about it — 

Preece. 1 shall tell him to-morrow if he 
can spare time to see me. 

Emily. Spare time to see you — why? 

Preecb. Oh! you don't know, but Mr. 
Rhead's a sort of crowned head on the 
works. You can't walk into his office as if 
it was a public-house, I can tell you. 

Emily. But it's so iroportant for him. 

Preece. Rather! Much more important 
for him than for roe. 

Emily. Why? 

Preece. Under our agreement! Our 
agreement has five years to run yet, and 
during that time everything I do belongs 
to the firm. I only get a percentage on 
whatever my inventions bring in. 

Emily. What percentage? 



Preece. Ten. For every hundred pounds 
profit I get ten pounds and the firm gets 
ninety. 

Emily. But what a frightful shame! It 
ought to be tJie other way about — you 
ninety pounds and the firm ten. 

PsEECE. Oh, no! It's fair enough — 
really! They pay me a very good salary. 
And you must remember if Mr. Rhead 
had n't taken me out of the drawing office, 
I should be there now getting two pounds 

Emily. Idon'tcare! Ithinfcit'safright- 
ful shame. I shall tell fatter. 

Preece [half playfully]. Please don't, 
unless you want to ruin me with him. I 
owe just about everything to your father. 

Emily. But it's so horridly unfair. 

Preece. Oh, no! I assure you. I shall have 
all the moneyIwant,and more. And it will 
always be m;/ invention. That's the point. 

Emily. Then you don't care for money? 

PstBECB. Yes, I do. I want enough. In 
fact, I want a good deal. But what's inter- 
esting is to do things, and to do 'em better 
and quicker, and less clumsily than ever 
they were done before. It I can make 
nineteen tons of steel do the work of twenty 
— Well, I reckon I've accomplished some- 
thing for tie world. 

Emily. I like that. It's very original. 

Preece. Notmy notion, you know. I'm 
a disciple of William Morris. 

Emily. Oh! He's a poet, is n't he? 

Preece. You should read "The Earthly 
Paradise." 

Emily. I should love to. 

Preece. If people would read a bit more 
William Morris, and leas of these silly gim- 
eraek novels about lord and actresses — 
Ouida and so on — What's the matter? 

Emily. Nothing. [With a certain self- 
satisfacHon.] William Black's silly too, 
is n't he? 

Preece. Of course. 

Emily IJirmly]. I'm going to read "The 
Earthly Paradise." 

Peebcb, Let me lend it you. I've got a 
signed copy, from the author. 

Emily. You know an author! 

Pkeece. I know William Morris. I was 
Up at his stable last night. 



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MILESTONES 



Emily. His stable? 

Prghce. He gives lectures in a stable be- 
hind his house at Hammersmith. I wish 
you'd heard him pitching into the House 
of Lords. "A squad of dukes." 

Emily. But why? 

Pbebce. Oh, because they are n't in- 
terested in the right thing. 

Emii,y. What is the right thing? 

Preece. The right thing ia to make the 
world fit to live in, 

Emily. But is n't it? 

Pheecb. Have you ever been to the East 
End? 
• Emily. I did some slumming once, just 
to see. But I was so ashamed to go into 
their awful houses, that I never tried agam 

Preece [getting up, excited]. That 's 
grand! That's grand! That's just how I 
feel. Every one feels like that that's got 
any imagination and any sense of justice 
We ought to be ashamed of tie East End 
At least the governing classes ought. Not 
for the poor, but for themselves. They 
ought to go and get buried if they can't 
govern better than tliat. 

Emily [^fter a pause, rising as in thought; 
moved]. But how are you going to change 
it? 



Not by slumming, that's a 
certainty. You can only change it by get- 
ting some decent laws passed, and by piay- 
mg fair, and doing your job, and thinking 
a great deal less about eating and drinking, 
and fine clothes, and being in the swim and 
all that sort of nonsense. Do you know 
what I am going to do ss soon as I can 
afford? I'm going to be a Member of Par- 
liament. 

Emily [low]. Why did you offer to take 
us to the Hotel M6tropole? 

PKE.EI2E [confused], I thought you 'd like 
it. I — I — 

Emily. You despise it yourself. 

Phkbce. I'm human, 

Emilt. But — [She drains close to him.] 

Pbbece. I 'm very ambitious. I want a 
whole lot of things. But if I thoi^t I 
could find someone — find a woman, who 
— who feels as I feel; who'd like before 
everythii^ to help to make the world 
decent — I'd — 



pRBECB. Emily! 

[He kisses her long, holding her 
close.] 
Emily [gently releases herself and walks 
au-ay. With effort]. I have n't told you. I 
forgot. Father does n't wish me to go out 
»ith you this afternoon. He's here now, 
m the study. 



Oebt. Good afternoon, Mr, Preece. 
[They shake hands. To Emily.] I suppose 
you — er — told Mr, Preece that the ex- 
cursion IS countermanded? 

[She goes to tile fireplace.] 

Lmily Yes, Mr. Preece was just going. 
[Geitly] Good afternoon. [She holds out her 
hand to Preece, who hesitates, Emily re- 
peats m firmer tone.] Good afternoon, lln 
a tender voice.] Please! [With a smile.] An- 
other time! 

[pREBCB shakes hands and, bowing 
to Gebtsude, retires. As hede- 
parts Gebtrude rings the bell 
bj/ the fireplace.] 

Gert. Well, I've been catching it, I can 
tell you! 

ISmily [shaken]. What about? 

Gbht. About you. They simply asked 
me to go into the study so that I could be 
talked to — for your good, my girl. 

Emilt. They were n't rude, were they? 

Gebt. You know your mother's al- 
ways most considerate. She's an angel. 
But your father rubbed it in finely. How 
many times had you seen the young man? 
— If ever alone? — What on earth was 1 
thinking of? — What on earth was your 
mother doing to have noticed nothing? (As 
if your mother ever noticed anything!) 
And so on I Of course, I told them pretty 
straight that they were making a most 
ridiculous fuss about nothmg. 

Emily. Well, anyhow, I've let him kiss 

Gert. You've let him kiss you? When? 
Emily. Just now. Here. 
Gert. But what ^ 



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Emilt. Don't ask me. I don't know, I 
really don't. But I've felt it coming for 
some time. 

Gbbt. Do you mean to aay he walked 
in here and proposed to you straight off, 
and you accepted him? 

EImily. I did n't accept him, because he 
did n't propose. He was talking about his 

Gbrt. What ideas? 

Emilt [with a vague gesture]. Oh, about 
the world in general, and all that he means 
to do. He's made another marvellous in- 
vention, only no one knows except me. It 
was the excited way he talked — somehow 
— I could n't help it — before I knew what 
we were doii^, he'd got his arms round 

GeitT. [rather sternly, in spite of her tender 
feeling]. Well, Emily, I must say I'm very 
surprised. 

Emilt. So am I. 

Gbrt. Of course you 're engaged to him? 

Emily, Am I? 

Gert. And it'll be all my fault. How- 
ever, it's got to be seen through to the end 

Emilt. He has very strange ideas. They 
sound splendid when he's explaining them. 
But d' yosi know, he thinks Ouida'a silly. 

Gert. Does he? 

Emilt. And he really does n't care about 
money and fashion and all that sort of 
thing. He despises going to the Hotel 
Mfitropole, He only offered to go there 
because he thought it would please our 
horrid little minds — I was so ashamed. 

Gert. But surely you knew all this 
before ~ at least you guessed it? 

Emilt. I did n't, auntie. I never thought 
about his ideas, never! I just — 

Gert, You just simply fell into his arms 
as soon as you heard them, tliat's all. 
Well, surely in that case, you must admire 
these ideas of his tremendously. 

\She sits in an armchair.] 

Emily. I don't know. Yes. I admire 
them, but — 

Gert. Listen, young woman! Are you 
in love with him, or are n't you? 

Emilt. I — I^ How can you tell 
whether you're in love with a man or not? 



Gbrt. Supposing you were alone with 
him here, now — would you let him kiss 
you again? IPause.] 

Emily. I — 

Gbrt. Now, out with it! 

Emilt. I should n't be able to stop him, 
should I? 

Gbrt. That's enough. 

Emilt. Yes. But then what about 
father? He would be frightfully angry, I 
can see that. Oh, I do hate unpleasantness, 
auntie. And Mr. Preece's ideas are really 
very peculiar. 

Gbrt. [after a look at Emily]. Listen, 
Emily! I was once engaged to be married, 

Emilt. Oh, auntJel I always knew you 
must have been. Do tell me. Who was it? 

Gert. Your Uncle Sam. 

Emilt [staggered]. Not Uncle Sam? 

Gert. You're surprised, naturally. But 
you must n't be too hard. Remember it 
was twenty-five years ago, Uncle Sam was 
a splendid fellow then. He's old now. 
We're all old, except you — and Mr. 
Prcece, You've got the only thing worth 
having, you two. 

Emilt [sitting at Gbrirudb's feet]. 
What's that? 

Gbrt. Youth. Your Uncle Sam lived 
the miserable life of a bachelor till he W'as 
fifty. He'd have been a very different man 
if I'd married him. And I should have 
been a very different woman, 

Emilt. Why did you break it off? 

Geht. I broke it off because there were 
difficulties; and because I thought his ideas 
were peculiar; and because I hated un- 
pleasantness ! And now look at me I 
Could n't I have ruled a house and a fam- 
ily? Could n't 1 have played the hostess? 
[In another tone.] To-day the one poor little 
joy 1 have in life is to pretend I'm your 
mother. Look at my position here. I'm 
only — 

Emily [passiimately]. Oh, auntie, don't! 
I can't beai to hear you say it. I know ! 

Gert. Wc were opposite in every way, 
your uncle and I, but I — I loved him. 

Emilt [softly]. Do you still love him, 
auntie? 

Gert. [in a fUU tone of despair], Nol 
Love dies out. 



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Emilt [cifleT a moment]. Why did n't you 
marry somebody else? 

Gbht. There was nobody else. There 
never is anybody else when you've ni 
the mistake I made. Marryl I could have 
ohosea among a dozen men I But they \ 
all tie wrong men. Emily! Fancy pouring 
out tea every day of your life for the 
wrong man. Every breakfast time — every 
afternoon! And there he sits, and nothing 
will move him. Think of that, Emily - 
think of that. [A pause.] 

Emily [embracing her again]. Oh, auntie ! 
/ love you awfully ! 

Gbrt. You must show some courage, 
tny girl. Don't be afraid of anything — ■ 
and especially not of ai'guments and 
threats. What does unpleasantness matter, 
after all? It 's over in a month [ but a mis- 
take lasts for ever. 

Emily. You 'U help me? 

Gebt. That's all I live for, [She fcisses 
Emily tenderly.] Is that Sam's voice? 

; [Thompson' enters.] 

Thompson [announcing]. Mr. and Mrs. 
Sibley. [He reHres.] 

[Samobl Sibley and his wife Nancy enter. 
Samubl, li>hc is now fifly-fhree, has 
grown into a rather flabby nonentity, 
grey-haired vrith tongish tdde whiskers 
and glasses. His manner is importarU 
and fussy. Nancy is a hvxom, York- 
shire woman of thirty-two, round-faced, 
good-natured, fuU of energy. She wears 
the fashionable jersey of 1885 and a very 
definite "bvsOe."] 
Sam. Weil, Gertrude? Well, my little 
Emmie! 

[He Msses Emily, toho gives her 
cheek unwiUingly; then shakes 
hands mth Gertrude.] 
Gebt. How are you, Sam; and you, Mrs. 
Sam? 

Nanct. Nicely, thank you! [Shaking 
hands vigorously with Gbrtkudb and Em- 
ily.] Everybody well, here? 
Emily, Yes, thank you. 
Nanct. That'sfine! Then your mother 
got Sam's letter saying we were coming? 
^luiLT idrUy]. Oh, yesJ 



Nancy. I said to Sam it would happen 
be best to write and tell you. So he wrote 
— [with a took at Sam] — finally. 

Sam [with a serious tone]. We nearly 
did n't come. 

Gert. Anything wrong? 

Sam. Infant's temperature up at a hun- 
dred last night. However, it was noimal 
this morning. 

Nancy. You know he takes the baby's 
temperature every night. 

Emily. Oh, do you, uncle? How tunny! 

Sam. I don't see anything funny about 
it, niece. Good thing if some parents took 
their responsibilities a bit more seriously. 

Nancy. I must say Sam makes a very 
good father. 

GiiRT. Let me see — how old is Dickie 

Sam, We never call him Dickie — Rich- 
ard, better; less nonsensical. 

[He settles doum solemnly in a cftow".] 

Nancy. You've no idea what I call him 
when you're not there, Sam! [To Geh- 
tbudb.] He was two oa the second of this 
month. He talks like anythii^ ! You 
ought to see him and his father together. 
It's kilUngl The little thii^'s so exactly 
like Sam. 

Emii,y [examining Sam]. la he? We must 
go down to Brockley, must n't we, auntie? 

Nancy Idniy], I've been expecting you 
for the better part of some time. [Then 
cordially.] I should love you to come as 
soon as I've got a new cook. [Withempha- 
sis.) Oh, my! 

CiBRT. Are you having trouble? 

Nancy. Trouble's not the word. And 
as for the nurse-maid! If it wasn't for 
Sara being free — 

(!ert. D' you take your share, Sam? 

Nancy. By the hour he wheels that child 
up and down. 

Emily. Not in the street? 

Sam. Why not, niece? Anything to be 
ashamed of in being a father? 

Nancy. That's what we came up for to- 
day, to buy a new perambulator. He did 
trj- to repair the other in the litUe work- 
shop he's made himself at the end of the 
garden — and moat useful he is for odd 
jobs. Upon my word, he's bu^ from 



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.ght ! But we thought it better 
to buy ft new pram altogether. 

Sam [disconterded]. Nancy would insist 
on having one of those new things with 
iadiarubber tyres, as they call them, 

Nancy [very definUelyl. Now, Sam. I 
thought we 'd done with that question. 

Sam. Yes; but rubber t3Tes on gravel 
paths 1 It 's obvious they '11 not last a. — 

Nanct. I told you Mrs. Caton across 
the road told me — 

8am. Oh, very well! Very well! Only 
it's very light and flimsy. 

Emily [resllesi]. I think I'll go and tell 
father and mother you're here, 

[(Joins towards Ike door.] 

Nancy Irising, very convinced]. Come 
and see for yourself what you think of the 
pram and the rubber tyres. 

Emily [rising]. Is it here? 

Nancy, Yes, in the hall. 

Sam. I deemed it imprudent to let them 
send it down by train. So we brought it 
away on the roof of a four-wheeler. 

Emily [patronisingly]. Well, let's go and 
inspect it. Aunt Nancy. 

[Emily and Nancy go o/.] 

Gebt, [wailing till the door is closed; in 
low quiet tones]. Sam, I'm so glad you've 
come. There'sgoing to be another tragedy 
in this house, if some of us don't do some' 

Sam. Another tragedy? What do you 
mean? 

Gert. I just mean a tragedy. That 
child 's head over heels in love with young 
Arthur Preece, at the works, and John 
simply won't hear of it. 

Sam. Why? 

Gert. [shrugs her shoulders]. Why, in- 
deed? Sam, if there's any discussion while 
you're here I want you to help me all you 

Sam. But really, Gertrude, how can I 
meddle in an affair like that? I have my 
own responsibilities. 

Gbbt, Sam, it's many years since 1 
asked the slightest favour of you. 

Sam [moved, friendly]. Come, come. 
Don't go so far back as all that. We're all 
very comfortable as we are, 1 think. 

[The door opens.] 



Gbht. [quick and loiv]. But will you? 
You've got more influence than I have. 

Sam [low]. AU right. (Pais her arm.] All 
right. 

[Enter Rose ajid John.] 

John [coming up to Sam a little patroniz- 
ingly]. Sam, glad to see youl How's the 
precious family getting on? Any new 
trouble lately? 

&/.M [a litUe sharply]. Oh, no! And what 
about yours? |/n o significant, bantering 
tone.] Any new tioubte lately? 

John. Mine? Trouble? No! 

Rose [hissing Sam fondly]. Your wife's 
here? 

Sam, She's downstairs somewhere — 

John [interrupting sharply]. Where is 
Emily? 

Gbbt. She's just gone with Mrs. Sam to 
look at a new ■ — 

John [interrupting again], Preece has n't 
been, has he? 

Geht, He's been and gone. 

John. Were you here? 

Gert. I was here part of the time, 

John. You ought to have been here all 
the time. What did you tell him? 

Gert. EmUy told him you wished us to 
stay at home this afternoon. 

John [nodding curUy], So much for that. 

Sam, So even you are not quite without 
'em. Jack? 

John. Not quite without what? 

Sam. Family troubles. 

John. What in heaven's name are you 
driving at? 

Sam. Nothing. I only gathered from 
your tone that Preece was considered — er 



[hedging]. Oh, no! I'm merely 
taking precautions. Preece is an excellent 
fellow in his way — brilliant even. 

Sam. But you would n't care for him as 

John [posUively], I should not. 

Rose [shaking her head]. No! 

Sam. I've a]wa3m understood he had a 
great career before him. 

John. So he has, undoubtedly. You 
should see what he's got me to do at the 
works. Made me instal the telephone. And 
his latest is that he wants me to put down 



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an electric light plant. What do you think 
of that? 

Sam. He must be very enthusiastic. 

Gkrt. I should think he just is! 

John. Why, the boy'a invention mad. 
He thinks of Bothing else. 

Sam. Weil,if youaskmei'dsooner have 
that kind of madness than most kinds I 
meet with. Seems to me people have gone 
mad on bicycles or banjo-playing or this 
lawn-fennia, as it's called. It was different 
in.'our day, Jack, when young men took 1 
interest in volunteering and the defence of 
tifeir country. I've quite decided when our 
bch grows up — 

Gebt. [puttiTig a hand on Sam's m^. 
Sam! — Emily may be back any moment. 
We were talking about Arthur Preece. 

Sam. So we were. [Turns again lo Jobs.] 
Well, Jack — 

John [annoyed]. Look here, Sam — I 
don't mind being frank with you. Her 
mother and I have somebody else in view 
for Emily. 

Sam. Oh! 

Gbrt. [bitterly], I thought aa much. 

1^ slight pause.] 

John [carelessly to Sam]. Have you heard 
I 'm going to have a title? 
■ Sam. No I What title? 
, John. Baronet. 
: Gbht, [ijuickly]. You never told me. 

RoBB [soothingly]. It only came out this 
afternoon, Gertrude dear, * 

Sam. Oh — ho. 

John [stUl with an affeclalimi of careless- 
ness]. And what's more, Emily can marry 
~ under the very happiest auspices — into 
the peerage. That's why we don't want 
her to Bee too much of young Preece. 

Sam. And may one ask who is the Peer? 

John. Monkhurst, of course. 

Sam. Ned! 

Gbrt. Ned? 

Rose. Would n't it be ideal, Sam! 

Sam. He's keen — Ned? 

John, Very! Put that in your pipe and 
smoke it, my boy. 



John [rather negligently]. WeL, Nancy. 



How are you? It seems the infant's grown 
out of his pram. [Shakes hands.] 

Nancy [rather proud of being able to call 
the great man "John" and yet trying not to 
be proud]. Glad to see you, John. 

[Rose and Nancy embrace. An 
awkward pause.] 

Emilt [uftWi siMpicion]. What's the mat- 
ter here? More secrets? 

GEKv,iinanoutburst], It 's being arranged 
that you are to marry Lord Monkhurst. 

John [nonplussed, coldly angry]. Ger- 
trude, are you stark staring mad — blurt- 
ing things out like that? 

Rose [shocked]. Gertrude, dear — really ! 

Gert. [Jlrmly]. She'd better know, 
had n't she? 

John. You — 

Nancy [blandly]. Well, anyhow, tie fat's 
in the fire now, is n't it, John? 

John [turning to Nancy]. Sorry you've 
been iet in for a bit of a scene, Nancy, 

Nancy [cheerfully]. Oh! Don't mind me. 
I know what family life is^my word! 
I'm from Yorkshire! Best to have it out 
fair and equare^that's my experience. 

Sam. That 's what she always says when 
the infant's obstreperous. Why, the night 
before last, just as we were getting off to 

John. There 's nothing to have out ! 

Geht. Oh, yes, there is. Emily's in love 
with Arthur Preece. 

John. What's this? 

Emii,t [very nervoTis; to GBRTBUDit" 
What do you mean — it's being arranged 
for me to marry Lord Monkhurst? Me — 
marry old Ned! 

John. He's not old. 

Emii.y. Is a't he old enough to be my 
father? 

John. Certainly not. 

Sam [mischievously], I doubt it. 

John [turning on kim[. You're the last 
man U> talk about difference of age be- 
tween liusband and wife. 

Rosi! [smoothing over the awkwardTtess], 
But you're very happy, are n't you, dear? 

Sam. Naturally. 

Nancy. I don't see that age matters — 
HO long as people really fancy each other. 
I'm sure Sam gets youi^er every day. 



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JoHK. Of course! I7'uming to Emily 
angrUy.] What 's this tale about you being 
in love with Preece? 
Emily, I — 
John, Has he been proposing to you? 

Emily. No. 

John {diHdainfidly\. Then how can you 
be in love with him? 

Emily {resenling his tone]. Well, I am in 
love with him, it you want to know, father. 

John. You have the audacity — 

Nancy. Come, John, it's not a crime. 

John, Preece ia not of our class at all. It's 
a gross mistake to marry out of your class. 

Nancy [banlering]. Now, John, that's 
not very tactful, seeing that Sam married 
out of his class. 

Sam. Don't be foolish, Nan! I married a 
lady. Kven a marquis could n't do more. 

John. My dear Nancy, you belong to 
the family — that's enough 1 Preece is 
quite a different affair. Just a common 
derfc until I — 

Emily. I can't see what more you want. 
He has the most beautiful manners, and, 
as for money, he'U make lots. 

John, How will he make lots? 

Emilt. With his inventions. Yoij have 
n't heard about his latest. But 1 have. 
He's told me. Here it is. 

[Hands piece of steel to her father.] 

John [Uiking it]. And what's this? 

Emily. I don't know exactly. But it's 
very wonderful. It's steel, I think — a 
new kmd. 

John [drUy]. Yes. I see it's steel. 

Emily. And I think it's a great shame 
for you to take nine-tenths of all the money 
from his inventions, and tor him to only 
have one-tenth. 

John {flashing up]. What? Has he been 
whining to you in that style? 

EsQLY [passionfUely]. No, he has n't 
been whinii^ to me in that style. He hasn't 
been whinii^ at all. He thought it was 
quite fair. It only came out by pure acci- 
dent, and I promised I'd never breathe a 
word. You must torget what I've said. 

John. I'll teach him — 

Emily [more pasdonalely]. If you ever 
say a single thing, father, I'll run away 
and never come back. 



Rose. Child! please! 

[She tries to soothe her.] 

Sam \lo calm the stress]. Hand over. Jack. 
[Takes the piece of steel and looks at it.] I 
fully admit I was wrong about iron. But 
even you won't prophesy that steel's going 
to take the place of iron ships! 

John [shortly]. I don't think it is in my 
works. But, as for prophesying — I don't 
prophesy. Heavens knows no one can ac- 
cuse me of beii^ conservative in my ideas. 
But I must say the new generation seems 
to be going clean oft its head. If one of 
these up-to-date inventors came along ai'^d 
told me he'd made a flying-machine,. I 
should keep my nerve. I should n't biendh. 

Sam. Good! Goodl .. 

Gert. Now you're at flying-macluni^s ! 
What have flying-machines got to do with 
Emily's happiness? If she wants to marry 
young Preece — 

Emily. Yes, if I want to marry him, why 
should n't I? 

Rose. Because your father objects. 

Emily. Oh, mother. Did n't you marry 
father, in spite of everyone? 

John. Who's told you that? 

Emily. I know. [Genial glances oi Ger- 

RoBE [indignant]. Do you mean to com- 
pare young Preece with your father? 

Emily. Why not? You loved father, and 
I — 

John. I '11 tej) you why not. I was inde- 
pendent. I was my own master. Young 
Mr. Preece is n't. 'That's why. 

Gert. [sarcastiailly]. Surely it's a free 
country — for men ! 

John. It's not a country where honest 
men break their contracts. Young Preece 
can't patent an invention without me. 
Can't do anjihing without me. If I like, 
I can force him to mark time for five years, 
five solid years, 

Emily. Doesthat mean that if I married 
him in spite of you ■ — 

Rose [horryied]. Child! Well may you 
say we've spoilt you! 

John [cab/dy]. It means that if he had 
the impudence to marry you, I'd scotch 
him — that I would. 

Emily. Butwhy? Who's goingtosuffer? 



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How can my marriage affect anybody but 

John. Don't talk like a little fool. Your 
marriage is the most important thing in 
the whole world to your mother and me. 
And if you persist in doing something 
against our will, I shall retaliate — that's 
aJL 

Emilt \mth a despairing gesture]. I can't 
make out your objections to Mr. Preece. 
Why, he's a genius; everyone knows he's a 



John. And what if he is? 

a be the kings of the earth? Not quiti 
. niuses have to be kept in order like erim- 
inab. If there's one thing above all to be 
said in favour of the English character, it is 
that we've known the proper way to treat 



1 inclined to agree with you. 

John [to Emilv]. Oh, it is n't Preece's 
class I object to. He's presentable enough. 
The whole truth is he 's a highly dangerous 
so t of young man we're breeding in these 
days. He — he makes you feel — uncom- 
fortable. On the works, under discipline, 
admirable. Outside the works — no, no! 
And no! I've been following Master 
Preece's activities far more closely than he 
thinks. He little guesses I kziow he's a 
Socialist ! 

Sam. A Socialist! Good God! Gertrude, 
you never told me that. A Socialist 1 

Gert. Whyaremenalwayasofrightened 
by names? 

John. A Socialists [To Emily, an ulii- 
matum.] And I don't intend you to marry 
him. If you do, you ruin him. That's the 
long and short of it. Now, Emily, have we 
heard the last of Preece — or not? 

Rose [to Emily}. Darling! 

Gert. I really think you 1 

John [curtly]. Pardon n 
This ia n't your affair. It' 



ter's. 



e, Gertrude. 
( my daugh- 



Gert. [to Emily]. Your father is right. 
It's your affair. It depends solely on you. 
Emily [weeping imploringly]. What am 
I to do, auntie? 

[Gertrude turns away with a 
movemertt of pain aytd disguM.] 



Emily. I don't wajit to make everybody 
miserable. 

Gebt. [TeproachfuUy]. Oh, Emily! 

Emily. I could n't stand — in Mr. 
Preece's light! I could n't. 

Joh:v. There! There! Of course you 
could n't. 

Rose [comforting her]. My poor Jamb! 

Jobs. And don't go and suppose I want 
to compel you to marry Monkhurst — or 
anybody. You're absolutely free. 

Geht. [sniffs audibly]. H'ml 

JoH.K [glaring at Gbetbtjde to Emily]. 
Only, as your aunt has dragged in his name, 
I don't see any harm in telling you this 
much. He adores you. We all like him. 
His wife will have a position second to none 
in London Society. But don't let thatinflu- 
ence you. Take him or refuse liiT" as you 
please; your mother and I won't complain. 

Rose. Indeed we sha'n't, my love. 

John. Still a marriage like this is not 
to be sneezed at. Is it, Emily? [Pause.] I 
say, 13 it? 

Emily [trying to smile; inealcly]. No. 

John [continuing]. Not that I think it 
would a'i be a big slice of luck for Monk- 
hurst, too! There's only one Emily! [He 
pals her.] And then my title — 

Nancy, Your title, John? 

John [carelessly'.. Have n't you heard? 

Nancy. No! 

John [as oftoiJe]. Baronetcy 1 

Nancy [staggered]. Wonders 11 never 
cease. [To Rose.] What a pity you've got 

RoHB [witk a trace of bittemess]. Don't 

[She clasps Emily to fter.] 

Sam [with a sigh of regret for himse^. 
Well, well! And I've retired into private 
life! 

Job n [auneying him patronisingly]. And 
you've retired into private life. You're 
safe at Brockley. But then you see you 
had n't got a bee in your bonnet. 

Sam [accepting the sarcasm vnth a foolish 
smile]. Well, well! 

Nancy [sharj^y]. I don't see that there's 
any need for so much well-welling. 

JosN. Gome and give your father a Idse, 
Em. [Emily obeya.] 



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Geet. [rising as she does so, full of emo- 
tion]. I — 

[Thompson enters followed by a Footman. 
They bring in lea. Gbbtrdde pulls her- 
self togeOter. There is a slight pause 
wkUe Vie Servants arrange the lea- 
things. They leave the room.] 

EoBB. EWly, dear, will you pour out? 

Emily [demurely]. Yes, mother. 

Rose. I hope Ned won't be late. 

Nancy. Is Lord Monkhurat coming for 
tea? 

Rose. He promised to. 

Nancy, Oh, dear! If I'd known I was 
goii^ to meet him — [She rises and ar- 
ranges her bustle and the draperies of her 
sHtI.] I do hope he won't notice that pram. 
A pram in a hall looks so common. 

[Sh« reseats herself. Thompson enters.] 

Thompson [anrumncing]. Lord Monk- 
hurat I [HeretiTes.] 

Gbrt. \pasdonalely]- Here's your lord! 
[Ned enters rapidly.] 

Ned. Well, kind Mends, Hullo, Sam! 

Sam. Hullo, Ned! [They shales hands.] 
By the way, my wife — Nancy, Lord 
Monkhurst. [Nancy flustered, bows.] 

Ned [going towards Emily]. Delighted! 
Any of that tea for me? 

Gbbt. [with great Seeling], And there's 
your tea — your daily t«a, for the rest of 
yova life. 

John [angrily]. Gertrude! 

Gbbt. No, I will speak! Ned, what 
would you do, if I told you that — 

Emilt. [pleading\. Aunt Gertrude, please. 

Geht. Emily? 

Emily [weakly]. It's all right, auntie. 

Gbrt. All right? Oh, very well! [Des- 
perately.] What's the use! 

[She turns and walks quickly out 
of the room.] 

Ned [surprised at Gbbtrudb's lone]. 
What's the matter with dear Gertrude? 

John. Nothing. One of her moods. 
[Drawing up a chair, with avihority.] Now 
then, Emily, — tea! 



1912 

The same drawing-room, but now in 1912, 
it has undergone an entire change. All of the 
old mid- Victmian furniture has been crowded 
out by furniture (^ later style. Changes «/ 
ornaments, etc. The lights are electric; so is 
tht, bell by the fireplace. 

It is a June evening, o6oii< half-past ten at 
night. Signs of festivity — flowers, presents 
[in gold] are standing about. It is the evening 
of the Golden Wedding of John and Rose, 
[Webster, a smart, military-looking buHer 
of forty, is arranging a tray of whiskey ahd 
soda. The door to the hall opens, and a Foot- 
man enters.] 

Footman [announcing]. Lord Monk- 
hurst. [He unthdraus ] 
[Lord Monkbcrst enters. He is a young 
man about town of twenty-two, tall, hol- 
low-chested, careless in his manners, 
very self-assured and properly bored ] 

Monk. I say, Webster. 

Websteb, Good evening, my lord. 

Monk, [cheerfully]. I suppose dinner's 

WsBScER [looking at his wateh]. H'shalf- 
past ten, my lord. 

Monk. Of course, they'll all say I'm 
late for dinner. 

Webstek. Oh, no, my lord. Shall I 
order some dinner for your lordship? 

Monk. No. Who's here now? 

Webster. Lady Monkhurst and Misa 
Muriel; Miss Rhead, Mrs. Samuel Sibley, 
and Mr. Richard Sibley. 

Monk. Yes. I know he's here- Many 
people at the reception this afternoon? 

Webstter. Droves, my lord. 

Monk. I suppose these ghastly things 
are the presents? 

Webster. As your lordship says. 

Monk. Dashed if I can understand why 
my grandfather should make such a fuss 
about his golden wedding. [Very cheerfully-] 
Was he very angry at me not turning up? 

Webster. Considering his age, no, my 
lord. I took the liberty of Euggesting to 
him that this might be one ot your busy 



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3« 



weeks, my lord, and that your lordship 
could never tell beforehand — 

Monk. You're a clever chap, Webster. 
Why the devil did you leave the army? 

Webster. Probably because, as your 
lordship aays, I'm clever. There's more 
brains outside the army than in it, my lord. 
And like turns to lite. 

Monk, [laughing in a superior way]. Ha! 
hal Beallyl 

Webster. Fact is, I enlisted under a 
misapprehension, when I was in a temper. 
I have to thank. your lordship's late father 
for helping me to reenter my oid profes- 
sion, and under the most auspicious cir- 
cumstances. 

Monk. Well, we could do with more fel- 
lahs like you. I've not yet found any Ser- 
jeant to draw my sketch maps for me half 
as well as you used to. 

[He is looking over the tray with 
drinks.] 

Wbbstbr. Ah, my lord! Those half- 
guineas came in very handy, very handy. 
Glorious times, no doubt. But I would n't 
go back. 

Monk. Bring me a benedictme, will 
you? 

IEmilt, luno Lady Monkhobbt, forty- 
ei^ht, enlers by the doiMe doors. She 
has developed into a handsome, v)dl- 
preserved woman of Ike world. She 
toears an evening dress of rich brocade, 
and magnificent pearls.] 

Monk. Well, mater, 1 don't see much 
sign of the fatted calf. 

Emily [annoyed]. Gerald, your poor 
father was witty; you are merely facetious. 
I wish you could cure yourself. 

Monk. Now, what's the matter now? 

Emily. What's the matter? You must 
needs choose your grandparents' golden 
weddii^ to go to Sandown. You promised 
meyou'dbebaekearly, atany ratein time 
for the tail end of the reception; and you 
don't even appear for dinner. Your grand- 
father is very displeased. 

Monk. If a fellow keeps a stable, he 

keeps a stable. Somebody's got to look 

after the gees in these days. And then — 

[Hesitates,] 



Emtly. Please don't tell me your car 
broke down. I 've heard that too often. 

Monk. It did n't — this time. 

Emily. Have you dined? 

Monk. I have. 

Emily. Whom with? [SHence.] One of 
your numerous "lady friends," I presume. 
Gerald, I'm ashamed of you. 

Monk, You've no right to be ashamed 
of me. If you want to know, 1 dined at the 
House of Lords, 

Emily. At the House of Lords? 

Monk. At the House of Lords. They 
telephoned to me at Sandown to come up 
for an important division, and I was kept 
hanging about there till after ten o'clock. 
Jolly amusing place, the House of Lords. 

Emily [rather takert tAack]. Why did n't 
you t«Q me at first? 

Monk, Because I just wanted to teach 
you a lesson, mater. You're always ragging 
me about something or other. 

Emily. You might at least have tele- 
phoned. 

Monk. When a chap's doing his duty to 
his country, he can't always think about 
telephoning. 

Emily. My dear Gerald, if you mean to 
follow in your father's footsteps, nobody 
will be more delighted than your mother. 
There 'd be nothing to prevent you from 
being Master of the Horse, if you chose. 
Only, my chick — 

Monk. Only what? 

Emily. You must alter your manner of 

Monk. My manner of living, my dear 
mal«r, is my own affair. ITTilA meani?ig.] 
If you'd leave me alone, and look after 
your other "chick" a little bit more — 

Emily. What do you mean? Muriel? 

Monk. Precisely, The Honourable 
Muriel. 

Emily. Why? 

Monk. Oh! I know Muriel can do no 
wrong. Still, I spotted her at the top of the 
stairs just now practically in the arms of 
the good Richard. 

Emily. Richard! 

Monk, [intoning]. And Samuel took to 
wife Nancy, and begat Richard. And 
Samuel passed away in the fulness of years 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



and his son Richard reigned in his st«ad. 
And Richard looked upon Muriel, and lo! 
she was beautiful in the eyes of Richard — 
Emily. Hush, Gerald! Are n't you 
mistaken? I've never seen the slightest 

Monk. That shows how blind you are, 
then! Of course I'm not mistaken. 
Emily. Are you sure? 
Monk. Do you take me for a fool, 
mater? 

Emily [poailii'ely]. Richard, indeed! I 
shall put a stop to it. 

MoNTt [almost savagely]. I should jolly 
well think you would. 
[Enter Websteb from the hall with a liqueur 
on a sataer. Monkhurst takes it and 
drinks it sUndy.] 
Emilt. Webster, will you kindly ask 
Miss Muriel to come here? 

Webster. Very good, my lady. 

[He goes out. Monkhdrst nods 
knowingly to his mother as if lo 
say, "N^ow you'U see.'" Nancy 
enters by the dmihle doors. She 
hoi grown into a rather red-faced 
■[iump, old woman of fifty-eight. 
She is good-natured, but is quick 
to retort. Her laugh is rather 
loud, her manner mare definite 
than ever.] 
Nancy. Good evening, young maji. 
Monk. Good evening. 
Nancy. So you've come at — 
Emily [interrupting her]. Aunt Nancy, 
I 've just had tosend for Muriel to come here. 
Nancy. What's amiss? 
Emily. I — well — I hardly like — 
Monk. Your excellent son Richard has 
been seen trying to kiss my sister. 
Nancy. What was she doing? 
Emily. Well, that's not the point. 
Nancy, And supposing he was trying 
to kiss Muriel? 

Emiiy. I must say, Aunt Nancy, you 
don't seem very surprised. 

Nancy. Who would be? You invite 
young people to a golden wedding, and 
then you're startled when you catch 'em 
kissing. What else do you expect? 
Emily. I expect a good deal else. 



Nancy. Then you're likely to, be dis- 
appointed. As a matter of fact, I knew 
Richard was going to kiss Muriel to-night. 

Emily. Who told you? 

Nancy, He did, of course. At least, he 
let out to me he was going to propose to her. 
He usually gets what he wants, you know. 

Emily [angrily surpjised]. H'm ! 

Monk, [very d^niiely]. He won't get 
what he waaits this time. 

Nancy. Oh? 

Monk. You must see that my sister 
can't marry an engineer. - 

Nancy. Well — why not an engineer? 
What are you? I can tell you what ybu 
might have been, if you had n't been bom 
in the right bedroom: you might have been 
a billiard-marker. What have you done? 
Tell me a single thing you've done? 

Monk. I've — oh! What tripe! 

Emily. Really, Aunt Nancy — 

Nancy. Yes, my son is an engineer. 
And if you want to know what sort of an 
engineer he is, go to Mr, Arthur Preece. 

Monk. [disdainfuUy], Who's Preece? 

Nancy [imitating his tone]. Ask your 
mother who Preece is. 

'Emii.y \self-cimsciously]. Amit Nancy! 

Nancy [continuing]. You are n't old 
enough to remember Mr. Preece as an 
engineer, but, at any rate, you know he's 
in the House of Commons, whereas you're 
only in the House of Lords. And I'd like 
you to tell me where your grandfather'd 
have been last week with all his workmen 
on strike — but for Mr, Preece I 

Monk. Oh, (ftai Preece! 

Nancy. Exactly. And it's that Preece 
that thinks the world of my son. My sou 's 
been out to Canada, and look how he got 
on in Winnipeg! And now he's going out 
again, whose capital is he taking hut your 
grandfather's? I should like to see your 
grandfather trust you with thirty thousand 
pounds and a ticket to Canada. 

Monk. I 'm in no need of capital, thank 

Nancy. Lucky for you you are n'tl My 
husband left me very badly off, poor man, 
but I could count on Richard. A pretty 
look-out for your mother if she'd had to 
count on you! 



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Emily [impalient]. Really, Aunt 
Nancy — 

Nancy [netlled\. Well, you leave my son 

[Enter from the hall Muriel and Richard. 
MuRiEi, is a handsome girl of tu)enly~ 
four, rather thiit aTid eager mith a high 
forehead, and with mvck dielinctwn. 
She has herself under tAsolitle control, 
Richard is a tall, broad, darkish fellow 
of tiventy-seven, with a clean-shaven 
heavy foee and rough ftoir. He is very 
tacitant.] 

Emily. Muriel, it was you that I asked 
foe. 

Mdriel Iquile calmly]. We were both 
just coming to tell you. 

Emut. Tell me what? 

MnRiEL. We're eng^ed. 

Emily. Does Richard leave you to say 
this to me? 

Muriel. Well, you know he was never 
a great talker. 

Richard. There it b — we 're engaged. 

Nancy [to Muriel]. How matter-of-tact 
you are, you girls, nowadays. 

[She caresses Richard.] 

Muriel. Well, nobody seems strikingly 
enthusiastic here. 

Emily. 1 should think not. I don't like 
these underhand ways. 

McRiBU What underhand ways? Surely 
you did n't expect Richard to announce in 
advance the exact place and hour he was 
going to propose to me. 

Emily. Please don't try to imitate your 
dear father. You're worse than Gerald 
sometimes. 

MnaiEL. Oh, very well, roamma! What 
else? 

Emilt. Do you mean to tell me you 're 
seriously thinking of going to Canada — 
to Winnipeg — for the rest of your days ? 

MuBlBL. Of course, mammal I'm sure 
I shall be happier there than here. 

Emilt. You'll leave Ei^land? 

MoBiBL. Certainly. Politics are much 
more satisfactory over there, except for 
woman's suffrage. All the questions that all 
the silly statesmen are still wrangling about 
here have been settled over there 



Emlly. My poor girl! 
Muriel. Mamma, I wish you would n't 
say "my poor girl." 
Emily, What have politics to do with 



Muriel. They have a great deal to do 
with mine. But, of course, what most at- 
tracts me is all those thousands of square 
miles of wheat fields, and Richard making 
reaping-machines for them. The day I first 
see one of Richard's new machines at work 
on a Canadian wheat-farm will be the hap- 
piest day of my life — except to-day, 

Nancy [amazed at these sentiments]. Well, 
you're a caution. 

Mo^flK. \mth disgust]. Why not marry an 
agricultural implement while you 're about 

Rich AUD [threaleningly]. You shut up! 

Muriel. But are n't you glad, mamma? 

Emily. I can't discuss the matter now. 

Muriel. But what is there to discuss? 

Emily [after a pause], Muriel, I tell you 
at once, both of you, I shan't allow this 
marriage. 

MuiUEL. Not allow it? My poor 



Monk. Certainly not. 

Richard. I've told you to shut up once. 

Emily. And your grandfather won't 
allow it, either. 

MuKiEi. Of course, mamma, you and I 
have always been devoted to each other. 
You'vf! made allowances for me, and I've 
made idlowances for you. But you must 
please remember that we're in the year 
1912. 1 've promised to marry Richard, and 
I shall marry him. There 's no question of 
being "allowed." And if it comes to that, 
why should n't I marry him, indeed? 

Emii,y, You — your father's daughter, 
to think of going out to Winnipeg as the 
wife of a — your place is in London. 

Richard [sliffening at the sight of trouble]. 
But I say, Cousin Emily — 

Muriel [gently, but firmly]. Richard, — 
please. [Turning to her mother.] Mamma, 
you really do shock me. Just because I'm 
the Honourable Muriel Pym! [Laughs,] I 
won't say you 're a snob, because every- 
body's a snob, in some way or other. But 
you don't understand the new spirit, not in 



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the ieast — and I'm so sorry. Why! 
Has n't it occiured to you even yet that 
the aristocracy racliet's played out? 

{Rose and John enter by the dc-uble dears. 

They have both grcum very old, Rose 

being seoenty-three and John setienly- 

seven. Rose has become short-sighted, 

white-haired and gttniHsh. John has 

ffrman a Utile deaf; his hair is thin, his 

eyes sunken, his complexjon ofivax, his 

fealtirea sharply defined. Gebtrube 

foBtnos Aem, now Beventy~thTee. She has 

grown into a thin shrivelled old woman, 

erect, hard v/itk a high, shriU voice and 

keen, clear eyes.] 

Rose, Ohl It's here they seem to be 

collected. {To Monkhurst.] Is that you, 

Gerald? Wherever has the poor lamb been? 

[She kisses kim.] 

Monk, Grandma, congratulations. {To 

John.] Congratulations, air. 

30B.H [sternly]. Is this what you call good 
manners, boy? 

Monk. Sorry, sir. 1 was kept. 

John [sarcastically]. Kept? 

Monk. At the House of Lords. A di- 

MuHiEt.. Good Heavens! Break it to us 
gently. Has his grandma's lamb gone into 

Monk. [hav^htUy, ignoring his sister]. 
They telephoned me from headquarters. I 
thought you would prefer me — 

John. Certainly, my boy. [Shakes his 
hand.] You could n't have celebrated our 
golden wedding in a fashion more agreeable 
to us than by recording your first vote in 
the House of Lords. Could he, granny? 

Rose [feebly]. Bless us! Bless us! 

John. What was the division? 

Monk. Imumbling]. Er — the Trades 
Union Bill, sir. Third reading. 

JOBN [not hearing]. What did you aay? 

Monk, [louder]. Trades Union Bill, sir. 

Muriel. Oh, my poor lamb ! The Trades 
Union Bill division is n't to be taken till 

Monk. [ftasii(y]. What am I thinking of? 
It must have been the Extended Franchise 
Bill, then. . . , Anyhow, I voted. 

SOBti [coughing]. H'm! H'm! 



Gbrt. [dravfing a shawl round her shoul- 
ders, fretfidly]. Couid n't we have that 
window closed? 

Rose. Auntie Gertrude, how brave you 
are! I dare n't have asked. I declare I'm 
a martyr to this ventilation in my old age. 

Gert, Idaresay I'm very old-fashioned, 
but when 1 was young we did n't try to 
turn a drawing-room into a park. 

Rose [la RicuARD, as he cloees the window]. 
Thank you, Richard, 

John [pettishly]. Put a match to the fire, 
boy, and have done with it. 

[RiCHABD goes to the fireplace, 
kneels down, and lights the jire.] 

Gert, What's the matter, Emily? 

Emily [who has begun to weep]. Oh, 
Auntie Gertrude! 

Nancy [soothingly]. Come, come, Emily. 

John. What's that? What's that? 

Rose [peering at Emily]. What is it, 
John? 

John. Monkhurst, have you been up- 
setting your mother again? 

Muriel. I think it's us, grandpapa- 

JoHN. What does she say? 

Muriel. I'm afraid it's us — Richard 

and me. We're engaged to be married. 

[Muriel points to Richard, who 

is still on his knees busy with the 

fire.) 

Rose. Oh, my dear — how sudden! 
What a shock! What a shock I I can 
understand your mother crying. I must 
cry myself. Comeandkiss me! It'saston- 
iahing how quietly you young people 
manage these things nowadays. 

[Embraces Muriel.] 

John, Who's engaged to be married? 
Who's engaged to be married? 

Richard [lovdly, rising and dusting kis 
hands]. Muriel and I, sir. 

John. Mu — Mu — ! What the devil 
do you mean, sir? Emily, what in God's 
name are you thinking of? 

Emily [whimpering]. It's just as much 
of a surprise to me as to anybody, I don't 
approve of it. 

Monk. I've told them already you 
would never approve, sir. 

Nancy. You have n't. young man. It 
was your mother who told us that. 



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35 



John [to Nancy]. I asked you to my 
golden wedding, Nancy — 

Nancv. You did, Sir John. I should n't 
have come without. 

John. Do you countenance this — 
affair? 

Nancy. What's wrong with it? 
' Rose [timi^y]. Yes, John. What's 
wrong wiUi it? Why should n't my Muriel 
marry her Richard? 

John. What's wrong with it, d' you say? 
What— I 

Emily [passionately], I won't agree to it. 

John [to Nancy). Nothing wrong with it, 
from your point of view. Nothing! [Laugh- 
ing.] Only I sha'n't have it. 1 won't have 
it. 

Rose. Grandpa, whv do you ahr/ays try 
to cross me? 

JoHW. I? You? 

Rose. I'vebeenyielding toyouinevery- 
thing for fifty years. 1 think I'm old 
enough to have my own way now — just 

John [slartkd]. What's come over you? 
Robe, Nothing's come over me. But I 

John [siibduins her]. Be silent, granny ! 

Nancy. We thought you thought very 
highly of Richard, 

John. Soldo. But what's that got to 
do with it? It's nothing but this genius 
business over again. 

Nancy. Genius business? 

John, Yes. I shall be told Richard 's a 
genius, therefore he must be allowed to 
marry Muriel. Nonsense 1 I had just the 
same dilHcuJty with her mother twenty-six 
.years ago. You ought to remember; you 
were there! Had n't I, Emily? 

Emily [faintly]. Yes. 

HoBH [not hearing]. What's that? 

Emily. Yes, father. Yes. 

John, Of course I had. I would n't have 
it then, and I won't have it now. What? 
Here's a young fellow, a very smajt engi- 
neer. Insists on going to Canada. Wants 
capital 1 Wei!, I give it him! I tell him he 
may go. Everything 's settled. And then, 
if you please, he calmly announces his in- 
tention ot carrying oB my grand-daughter 
— him! 



Rose. If she 's your grand-daughter, he 's 
my nephew. 

John [glaring at her], Sh! 

Rose. No ! I wo — 

John [wntinuing, staring at RoseI. My 
grand-daughter has got to marry some- 
thing very different from an engineer. 

Nancy. If she did she- might marry 
something that'll turn her hair grey a good 

John. I have my plans tor Muriel. 

Emily. Imagine Muriel in Winnipeg ! 

Muriel. What plans, granddad? You 
've never told me about any plans. 

John. Not told you! At your age, your 
mother had a conspicuous place in London 
society. And it's your duty to carry on the 
family tradition. Your mother did n't 
marry into the peerage so that you could 
galliv!int up and down Winnipeg as the 
wife of a manufacturing engineer. You 
have some notion ot polities, though it's a 
mighty queer one — 

Mdriel. 1 hardly think my politics 
would further your plan, granddad. I 
should have supposed the whole ot my 
career would have made it plain that I 
have the greatest contempt for official 

John, Your "career"! Your "con- 
tempt"! [Laughs good-kumowedly, then 
more softly.] My child — 

Muriel [neftied]. I'm not a child. 

John [angrily]. Enough! Don't make 
yourself ridiculous. [More quietly.] Your 
mother and your brother think aa I do. 
Let that suffice. 

Richard. Pardon me, sir, but suppose it 
won't suffice? 

John [furious]. 1 — 1 — 

MuBiBL [Hotently], Granddad, do please 
keep calm. 

John [as aboiie\. I'm perfectly calm, I 
believe. 

Nancy [to Gektrdbe]. Then he'd be- 
lieve anything ! 

Moriel. You don't seem to have under- 
stood that we're engaged to be married. 

Geut. I must say — 

JoEiN. And what must jTOi* say? You'll 
side with my wife against me, and the 
girl's own mother, I si 



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Gert, I fail to see any objection what- 

JoHN, Do yoQ, indeed! Well, objection 
or no objection, I mean it to be stopped — 

MuBiEL. But how shall you Btop it, 
granddad? 

John. If I hear one more word of this, 
one more word — there'll be no thirty 
thousand pounds for Richard. Not from 
me, at any rate. And 1 don't imagine that 
your mother will help him, or Monkhurst 
either. Where is he? 

Monk. Not much. 

Muriel, But that won't atop it, grand- 

RosB [rising, and going to the hall door}. 
John, you're a hard, hard old man. The 
one thing I ask of you, and oc our golden 
wedding day, too, and you won't even lis- 
ten. You shut me up as though I were a — 
a — I do think it's a shame. The poor 
things. [She goes oul in tears.] 

Nancy [hurrying oid after Aer|. Rose! 
Rose! Don't! 

John. Here I arrange a nice little family 
dinner tocelebrate theoccasion. I invite no 
outsiders, so that we shall be nice and homely 
and comfortable. And this is how you treat 
me. You induce your grandmother to defy 
me — the first time in her life. You bring 
your mother to teara, and you — 

Emily. There's nothing to be said in 
-favour of it — nothing. The very thought 
otit — 

Richard. I'm awfully sorry. 

John. No, you are n't, sir. So don't be 
impudent. 

[Webster enters.] 

Webster. Mr. Arthur Preece, Sir John. 
I've shown him into the study. 

John. Very good. [Webster goes out.] 

Gert. Why eaa't Mr. Preece come up 
here? 

John. Because he's come to see me on 
private business, madam. Private, do I 
say? It's pubhc enough. Everybody 
knows that I can't keep my own workmen 
in order without the help of a Labour M.P, 
The country's gomg to the dogs I My own 
father used to say so, and I never beheved 
him. But it's true. [He goes to the door.\ 



Monk. May I come with you, sir? 
[With a superior glance at Mubibl.] These 
family ructions — 

John. Come! 

[John goes o^, followed by Monk- 
hurst.] 

Geht. [meaningly]. Richard, go and see 
where your mother is, will you? 

[Richard follows tite others. A 
slight pause.] 

Emilt [stiU weakly and iearfully]. How 
your poor grandmother is upset! 

MuHlEL. Yes, I'm very sorry. 

Emilt. That'a something. 

MuRiEi., It's such a humiliating sight. 
No real arguments. No attempt to under- 
stand my point of view! Nothing but 
blustering and bullying and stamping up 
and down. He wants to make out that I'm 
still a child with no will of my own. But 
it's he who's the child. 

Gert. Come, come, Muriel. 

Mtjriei., Yes, it is. A spoilt child 1 When 
anything happens that does n't just please 
hini, there's a fine exhibition of temper. 
Don't we all know it. And this is the great 
Sir John Rhead ! Bah! 

Emily [oMOJedj. Muriel! 

Muriel. Oh, of course it isn't his fault! 
Everyone 's always given him his own way 
— especially grandma. It's positively pa- 
thetic; grandma trying to turn against him 
now. Poor old thing ! As if she could I Now ! 

Emilt. Muriel, your cold-bloodedness 
absolutely frightens me. 

Mdbibl. But, mother, I'm not cold- 
blooded. It's only common-sense. 

Gekt. [clwmsHy caressing Emily]. Dar- 
ling! 

Emilt. Common-sense will be the finish 
of me; I've no one left in the world now. 

Gekt. [Atirt]. Then I suppose 1 'm too old 
to count. And yet for nearly fifty years 
I've lived for nobody but you. Many and 
many a time I should have been ready to 
die — yes, glad to — only you were there. 

Emilt [a^eclionatdy]. And yet you're 
against me now. 

Gert. I only want you not to have any 
regrets. 

Emilt. Any regrets! My life has been 
all regrets. Look at me. 



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MILESTONES 



37 



Gbrt. Not all your life, dear — your 
marriage. [Muriel looks up.) 

£milt Ifirmty, and yet frightened with a 
look at Mdriel]. Hush, auntie! 

Geht. Wty? Why should I hush? You 
say your life's been all regrets, if you care 
about being honest with Murid, you ought 
to tell her now that you did not marry the 
man you were in love with 

Emily [in an outbuist] Don't believe it 
Muriel. No one could have been a kinder 
husband than your father was, and I al- 
wa3^ loved him. 

MuaiBij [intimidated by these Teielatums 
of feeling]. Mother! 

Gert. Then what do jou regret? You 
had an affection for Ned, but if you had 
loved him as vou loved — the other one — 
what is there to regret? And now you seem 
to be doing your best to make regrets for 
Muriel — and — and — oh, Emiiy, why 
do you do it? 

Muriel [moved, but controlling herself]. 
Yes, mamma! Why? I'msurel'mopen to 
hearreaaon on any subject — even marriage. 

Emu-y [blacMy]. Reason'. Reason! There 
you are again! My child, you're my old- 
eat, and I've loved you beyond everybody. 
You've never been attached to me. It 
is n't your fault, and I don't blame you. 
Things happen to be Uke that, that's all. 
You don't know how hard you are. If you 
did, you'd be ready to bite your tongue 
off. Here I am, with you and Gerald, 
Gerald is not bad at heart, but he 's selfish 
and he's a tool. I could never talk freely to 
him. as I do to you. One day he '11 be ask- 
ing me to leave Berkeley Square, and I shall 
go and finish my days in the country. And 
here you calmly announce you're off to 
Canada, and you want ray reasons tor ob- 
jecting! There's only one reason — all the 
others are nothing — mere excuses — - and 
you could n't guess that one reason. You 
have to be told. If you cared for me, you 
would n't force me to the shame of telling 
you, 

Muriel [whispering]. Shame? - ^ 

Emily, b n'tithumiliatii^foramother 

to have to tell her daughter, who never's 

«ven thought of it, that she cannot bear to 

Jose her, — cannot bear? — Caaadal 



MuMBL [throwing herself at her mother's 
knees]. Mother. I'll never leave you! 

[She sobs, burying her face in her 

mother's lap,] 

Geht. [softly]. All this self-sacrifice is a 

sad mistake. [To Moriel.] None of ua 

can live for ever.- When your mother is 

gone — what will you do then? 

MuBiBL [climbing up and kissing her 
mother], I'll never leave you! 
Emily. My child! 

Gert. [gently]. It's wrong of you, Em- 
ily ! All wrong! 

[\bthoe Pheece enters from the hail. His 
hair and mousUtche ham grown grey. 
His expression and manner slightly dis- 
illusioried and cynical. In figure he is 
the same,] 
pRBEGB. Good evening. 
Muriel [on seeing him, mes quickly 
rather like a school-girl]. Good evening. 
[She goes out rapidly. Pkeece looks after 
her a tittle surprised.] 

Emily [at once the woman of the wor!d]. 
Good evening. You've soon finished your 
business with father. 

Prebce [puzzled by the appearance of 
things]. Good evening. [He shakes hands 
with Emily.] What is the matter? The old 
gentleman really was n't equal to seeing 
me. I just told him what I had to tell him 
about the strikers, and then he said I'd 
perhaps better come up here, I think he 
wanted to be alone. 
Emily. Poor dear! 
PsEECB. Nothing serious, 1 hope? 
Gert. ^briskly, shaking Prbece by the 
hand]. The usual thing, Mr. Preece, the 
usual thing ! A new generation has got to 
the marrying age. You know what it is. 
I know what it is. Now, Emily, don't begin 
to cry again. People who behave as selfishly 
as you're doing have no right to weep — 
except for their sins. 

Emily [protesting]. Auntie, this can't 
possibly interest Mr, Preece. 

Gkkt. [stUl more briskly], Don'ttalk that 
kiadof conventional nonsense, Emily! You 
know quit* well it wUl interest Mr. Preece 
extremely. IBising.] Now just tell him all 
about it and see what he says. [With q 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



peculiar lime.] I suppose you'll admit he 

ought to be a good judge ot such matters? 

[She moves to the door.] 

Emily. Where are you going? 

Gbrt. [imilating Emily sligMy]. That 
can't possibly interest you, [Wearily.] I 'm 
out of patience. [She goes out of the room.] 

Emilt [trying to force a light tone], I tope 
you had some good news about the work- 
men for my poor old father. What a 
finish for his golden wedding day ! 

Pbbbce [foUomng ker lead]. Yes, I think 
hb little affair's pretty well fixed up- — any- 
how for tha present. He 's shown himself 
pretty reasonable. If he'd continued to be 
aa obstinate as he was at the start, the thing 
would have run him into a lot of money. 

EuiLT, I wonder he does n't retire. 

PsBBCE. He's going to. There's to be a 
Limited Company, 

Emily, Father — a Limited Company ! 
He told you? 

Preece. Yes. 

Emily. Then he rnuat have been feeling 
it's getting too much for him. 

Pkbece. Well, considering his years — 
seventy-seven, is n't it? Some of ub will be 
beaten long before that age. [He sighs.] 

Emily. Why that sigh? You aren't 
getting ready to give up, are you? 

Pbebcb. No, I expect I shall go on till 1 

Emily. I should have thought you had 
eveiy reason to be satisfied with what you 
have done. 

Pheecb. Why? 

Emily. Unless you regret giving up steel 
for politics. 

pREBCE. No. I don't regret that. I'd 
done all I really wanted to do there. I'd 
forced your father to take up steel on a 
big scale. I'd made more than all the 
money I needed. And other processes were 
coming along, better than mine. 

Emily. I wonder how many men there 
are who've succeeded as you have done, 
both, in politics and out of politics. 

Prebce. Do you think I've succeeded 

Emily. You have n't held office, but 
I've always understood it was because you 
jjieferred to be icdependent. 



Preece. It was. 1 could have sold my 
soul over and over again for a seat at an 
Under-Secretary's desk. I would n't even 
lead the Labour Party. 

Emily. But everyone knows you're the 
strongest man in the Labour Party. 

Preece. Well, if I am — the strongest 
man in the Labour Party is rather depressed. 

Emily. Why? 

Preece. Difficult to say. Twenty years 
ago, I thought the millennium would be 
just about established in 1912. Instead of 
that, it 's Bs far off as ever. It 's even further 
off. 

Emily. Further off? 

Preece. Yes. And yet a lot of us hav( 
worked. By God, we have! But there') 
a different spirit now. The men are bitter 
They can't lead themselves and they won'' 
ba led. They won't be led. And nobody 
knows what's going to happen next. Ex- 
cept that trouble's going to happen. ) 
often wonder why I waB cursed with ths 
reforming spirit. How much happier 1 
should have been if I'd cared for nothing 
in this world but my own work — like 
young Richard Sibley, for instance. 

Emily. Is n't he interested in reform? 

Preece. Not he! He's an engineer, 
only an engineer. He minds his own busi- 
ness, I suppose he's here to-night. 

Emily. Yes. 

FsEECB [in an ordirKiry tone]. Why won't 
you let him marry Miss Muriel? 

Emily [startled]. Thenfather's told you? 

Preece. Not a word. But Richard and 
I are great pals. He's told me his plans. 
Why should n't they marry? 

Emily [tueafcfyj. Muriel won't go to 
Canada. 

Preece. Won't go to Canada? But I 
understand she had a tremendous notion oF 
Canada, 

Emily. She's promised me she won't go. 

Preece. But why should she do that? 

Emily [ha^ breaking down]. Oh, I know 
1 'm selfish. But ^ but — I should be 
quite alone, if she went. And then, it's not 
what we'd anticipated for her. We natu- 
rally hoped — 

Prebce. Oh! Of course, if you're in the 
marriage market — 



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39 



Emily. No. Really it's not that — at 
least as far as I'm coacerned. I should be 
BO utterly alone. And she's promised me. 
U she deserted me — 

Pbeecb. Deserted — rather a strong 
word — 

Emily. Pleasedon't be hard! You don't 
know how unhappy 1 am. You admit 
you're discouraged. 

Prbecb, I said "depressed." 

Emily. Wei], depressed, then. Can't 
you feel for others? 

Pkbbcb {rather rovghly]. And who made 
me admit it? Who kept questioning me 
and worming it out of me? You would n't 
leave it alone. You're like all tie other 
women — and I 've had to do with a few. 

Emily {a§ron(ed\. Pleaae — 

Pbbbcb. It is n't sufficient for you to 
make a man unhappy. You are n't satisfied 
till he admits you've made him unhappy. 

Emily {■prolesiing}. Oh ! 

Prbecb. How many times have I seeu 
you since this cuiaed strike brought me 
among the family again? Halt-a-dozen, 
perhaps. And every single time I've no- 
ticed you feeling your way towards it. And 
to-night you've just got there, 

Emily. Arthur, you must forgive me. 
It's quite true. We can't help it. 

Pkbbce. What should I care about lost 
millenniums and labour troubles ahead, if 
I'd any genuine personal interest in my 
own? Not a jot. Not a tinker's curse ! Do 
you remember you let me kiss you — once? 

Emily. Forgive me ! I know I ought n't 
to be forgiven. But life's so difficult. Ever 
since I've been seeing you again I've real- 
ised how miserable I am — it's such a long 
time since. It seems as it was some other 
girl and not me — twenty-six years ago — 
here! And yet it'slike yesterday. [Sftesots.J 
IPrbbcb enthrocss her first roughly 
and then very tenderly.\ 

Phbbce, My child! 

EuiLY. I'm an old woman. 

Pbbbcb. You said it was like yesterday 

— when you were twenty-three — so it is. 

[They M33 again.] 

Emily [mlA a litth laugh]. This will kill 

Phbecb. Not it. Your father has a 



remarkable constitution. It's much more 
likely to kill the Labour Party. 

[John enters, agitated and weary.] 

Joun [brusquely]. Where's your mother? 
She's not in the other room. I thought she 
was in here. I want to see her, 

Emily. She 's probably gone to her own 
room — ■ poor dear! 

Jostf. Can't you go and find her? 

[He Bits dovTii, diecouraged.] 

Emily [coming oner to him]. Father, I've 
been thinking it over, and I'm afraid we 
shall have to agree to Muriel's marriage, 

John. We shall have to agree to it? I 
sha'n't agree to it. 

Emily. As Mr, Preece savs ^ 

John. Mr. Preece? 

Emily. You know how friendlj he is 
to Richard — -as Mr Preece e&y, nhy 
should n't they marry ? 

Preece. I merely ventured to put the 
question. Sir John, 

John. Why should n't the^ 7 Because 
they should n't. Is n't that enough? [To 
Emily.] A quarter of an hour ago you your- 
self agreed in the most positive way that 
there was nothing whatever to be said in 
favour of such a match. 

Emily. I was rather overlooking the 
fact that they 're in love with each other — 
— [glanang at Preece] — a quarter of an 
hour ago. 

John. Are all you women gone mad to- 
night? Preece, do you reckon you under- 
stand women? 

Preecb. Now and then one gets a 
glimpse, sir. 

John [realising stale of affairs between 
Preece owf Emily], H'm! 

Emilt {noticing her father watch her, 
rather self-consciously]. After all, what 
difference can it make to us? We sha'n't 
bo here as long as they will, 

John. What? What? 

Emily [louder]. We sha'n't be here as 
long as they will, I say, 

John, That's it! Tell me I'm an old 
man! Of course, it can't make any differ- 
ence to us, I was looking at the matter 
solely from their point of view. How can 
it affect me — whom Muriel marries? 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Emilt. Well, then! Let them judge for 
themaelvea. You agree? [John stares be- 
fore him obalinately.] Father — [John 
shakes his head itnpaiiently.] Dad I 

John Hooking up like a sidky child]. Oh, 
have it your own way. I'm not the girl's 
mother. If you've made up your mind, 
tJiere'a nothing mor« to be said. 

Emilt. And Richard's capita!? 

John. Oh,it'salllyingready. [Shrugshis 
shoulders.] May as well have it, I suppose. 

Emily. You're a dear! 

John. I'm not a dear, and I hate to be 
called a dear. 

Emily. What a shocking untruth! 1 
shall go and tell them, I think. 

[She goes to Ike door.] 

John [ctdling her back]. Emily ! 

Emily. Yes. 

John. Don't let them come in here. I 
could n't bear it, 

Emily. Oh, but — 

John. I could n't stand the strain, of an- 
other scene. It's iate now — I'm an old 
man, and people have no right to upset me 
in this way. 

Emily. Could n't they just say good- 
night? 

John. Very well. They must say good- 
night and go at once. Another day — 

Emily [very soothingly]. I'll tel! them 
you 're very tired. 

[She nods smilingly at her falherand 
leaves the room. A slight pause.] 

pREECE. A difficult job, beii^ the head 
of a family. 

John. I've done with it, Preece. I've 
decided that to-night — that's what a 
golden wedding comes to in these days. 
Things are n't what tJiey were. In my time 
a man was at any rate master in his own 
house and on hia own works. Seemed nat- 
ural enoi^h! But you 've changed all that. 

Preece. I've changed it? 

John [continuing conjidenlially]. Why, 
even my own wife's gone against me to- 
night. My own wife! [TTOvbled.] Did you 
ever hear of such a thing? 

Preece. I have heard of it, Sir John. 

John [^nUy]. You laugh. Wait till 
you're married. 

Pbbecb. I nmy have to wait a !oi^ time. 



John. Eh, what? A long time? Don't 
try to hoodwink me, Preece. I know what 
you all say when I'm not there. "Old 
Riiead." "Be breaking up soon, the old 
man!" But I'm not yet quite doddering. 
[Pointedly.] You'll be married insids six 
months — and every newspaper in London 
will be full of it. Yes, answer that. My 
workmen go out on strike, and you poke 
your noae in and arrange it for me. Then 
my family go out on strike, and upon my 
soul, you poke your damned nose in there, 
too, and arrange that for me — on your 
own t«rms. Tut — tut ! Shake hands, 
man! You and your like are running the 
world to the devil, and I 'm too old to step 
in and knock you down. But — but — I 
wish you luck, my lad. You're a good sort. 
[They shake ha,nds.] 

[Emily, Nancy, Musiel, Richabd, and 
Gbrthude all enter from the hall.] 

Preece. Well, good-night, Sir John. 

Emily [cheerfuUy], We 're just coming to 
say good-night, grandpapa. I'm sure you 
must be very tired. We've said good-night 
to granny. 

John [feebly]. Where is she? Where is 
granny? 

Nancy [heaHily shaking hands]. Good- 
nijrht, John, and thank you for a very 



[She goes to Gbrtrvde, who -nmo 
stands near the door, and kisses 
her good-night.] 
HiCBARD [heartily shaking hands]. Thank 
you, sir. 

[Nancy passes out by the door. 
Gertrudb now shakes hands 
with Richard, who foUows his 
mother.] 
Emily [fcisses John]. Good-night, dear. 
[John turning from Emily, moves 
ivith a gejKrous gesture to Mu- 
BiEi., who, however, keeps a very- 
stiff demeanour and shakes 
hands in cold silence. Emily 
has reached Gbbtrode. They 
both watch MtnuEL.] 
Emily [vAtk a shade of disappointment 
turns to Gertbode.] Good-night, auntie. 
[Gertrude and Emily embrace. 



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MILESTONES 



41 



then Emily passes quickly out 
of the door.] 
John' [stiffiy, looking about]. Where's 
Monkhurst? 

Gert. Oh, he is gone! He said he had 
an appointioent at the Club. 

John. What Club? The Carlton? 
Muriel [shaking hands vntk Gbbtrtjdb]. 
The Automobile, you may depend. 

[She goes off by i/ie door quickly.] 
Gbrt. Well, this day is over. 

[Webster enters from the hall.] 
Webster. Any orders, Sir John? 
John. None.* 

Gert. Can't wc have some of the blaze 
of electricity turned off? 
John, As you Uke, 

[Webster extinguiahes sneral 

clusters vnth the sivitches at the 

door, then goes out. The room 

is left in a discreet light ] 

J onu [almosl plaintively]. Where's Rose? 

[Rose enters timidly from the halt ] 
Gbrt. Here she is. 

Rose [going tip to John]. John, forgive 
me for having dared to differ from my dear 
husband. 

John [lahing her hand sofUy]. Old girl — 
[then half htimorousls shaking his head] — 
you '11 be the death of me, if you do it again. 
Gekt. I think I'm going to bed. 
John. No, not yet. 

Rose. Gertrude, will you do me a fa^ 
vour, on my golden wedding-day? 
Gbrt. What is it? 
Rose. Sing for us. 

Gert. Oh! My singing days are over 
long ago. 

John [persuasively]. Go on — go on. 
There's nobody but us to hear. 



Gert. Really it is — [Stops.] Very well. 
(Gertrude joes through the double 
doors. Rose dravis her lace 
shawl round her.] 
John. Let's sit by the fire if you're cold. 
[He moves a chair in place for her 
gallantly. Rose sits to the left 
0/ the fire. John takes a seat to 
the. Tight of the fire. The song 
" Jwinita" is heard in a cracked 
and ancient voice, very gently and 
faintly.] 
Roue [softly, by the fire]. When I think 
of ali this room has seen — 
3 ouN [looking into tiie fire]. Ah! 
RoHB. I'm sure it's very pleasant to 
remember. 

JOHK. Ah! That's because you're pleas- 
ant 1. 've said it before, and I say it again. 
The women of to-day are n't what women 
used to be. They're hard. They've none 
of the old charm. Unsexed — that's what 
they are — unsexed. 

[MtJHiBi. enters quickly from the 
hall in a rich while cloak. She 
pauses smiling, then hurries deli- 
cately across to her grandfather 
and embraces Mm; releases him, 
shyly lakes a flower from her 
bosom, drops it into his hand, 
turns and gives her grandmother 
a smile, whispering "Good-night. 
They're waiting for me," and 
hurries out again.] 
J osn [looking at the fiower]. We live and 

her head]. Yes, John. 
[The song continues.] 



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OUR BETTERS 
A COMEDY IN THREE ACTS 
Br W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM 



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CHARACTERS 

Lady Gbayston 
duchbsse de surennes 
Pkincipessa Dell a Cehcoia 
EuzABETH Saunders 
Arthur Fenwick 
Teorkton Clay 
Flemiz^g Harvey 
Antony Paxton 
Lord Bleang 
Pole 
Ernest 

The aclian of the play takes place ai Lady Graj/- 
Stan's house in GrosiKnor Street. Mayfair, and at 
her htmband's place m Suffolk. Feathers Neeii 



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OUR BETTERS 



Scene. The drawing-room at Laoy 
GiiArsTON's house in Grosoenor Street, May- 
fair. It is a Bumptiums double room of t/ie 
■period (^ George II, decorated in green and 
gold, inith a coromandel screen and lacquer 
aibinets, but the coverings of the chairs, the 
sofas artd cushions, show the influence of 
Bakst and the Riissian Ballet; they offer an 
agreeable mixtuTe of rieh plum, emerald green, 
canary and tdtramarine. On the floor is a 
Chinese carpet, and here and there are pieces 
of Ming -poUery. 

It is about half-past four, early in the sea- 
son, and a fine day. 

When the curtain rises, from the street be- 
low is heard the melancholy chant of the 
lavender man. 

Sweet lavender! 

Who will buy my lavender? 

Twelve sticks for a penny. 

Bessie Saunders comes in. She is a very 
pretty American girl, of twenty-two, with fair 
hair and blue eyes. She is dressed in the latest 
mode. She wears a hat and gloves and carries 
a bag. She has Just come in from the street. 
She has in hand a telephone message, and go- 
ing over to the telephone she takes wp receiveT. 

Bessie. Gerrard 4321. Is that the 
Berkeley? Put me through to Mr. Harvey, 
please. Fleming Harvey, that's right. [She 
listens and smiles.] Yes. Who d' you think 
it is? [Shelaugh^.] I've just got your tele- 
phone message. Where have you sprung 
from? That's fine. How long are you stay- 
ing in London? I see. I want to see you at 
once. Nonsense. This very minute. Now 
jump into a taxi and come right away. 
Pearl will be in presently. Ring off, Flem- 
ing. No, I will not ring off first. [A pause.] 
Are you there? How tiresome you are. 
You might be halfway here by now. Well, 
hustle. 

[She puts dovm the receiver and be- 
gins to take off her ^Iwei.] 



[Pole, (Ae buikr, comes in with a bunch of 



cfor 



Pole. These flowers have just c< 
you. Miss. 

Bessie. Oh! Thank you. Aren't they 
lovely? You must give me something to 
put them in, Pole. 

Pole. I'll bring a vase. Miss. 

[He goes out. She buries her face in 
the JUnners ond inhales their 
fragrance.] 
IPoij: reSnters mtk a bowl filled mth ivater.] 

Bessie. Thank you. You're sure the;' 
are for me? There's no label. 

Pole. Yes, Miss. The person whf 
brought them said they was for you, Misa 
I asked him it there was n't a card and bl 
aaid no. Miss. 

Bessie [with a faint smile]. I think ( 
know who they're from. [She begins to ar 
range the flowers.] Her ladyship hasn't 
come in yet, has she? 

Pole. Not yet, Miss. 

Bessie. D' you know if anyone is com- 
ing in to tea? 

Pole. Her ladyship did n't say, Mies. 

Bessie, You'd better prepare for fifteen, 

Pole. Very good, Miss. 

Bessie. I was being funny, Pole. 

Pole. Yes, Miss? Shall I take the paper 
away, Miaa? 

Bessie [with a slight sigh of resign^ion]. 
Yes, do, will you? [The telephone rings.] Oh, 
1 forgot, I switched the telephone on here. 
See who it is, 

[Pole lakes up the receiver artd lis- 
tens, Ihen puts his hand over ile 
mauih.] 

Pole. Will you speak to Lord Bleane, 
Miss? 

Bessie. Say I'm not at home. 

Pole. Miss Saunders has n't oome in 
yet. Ibegpardon, mylord, Idi4n'trM0g- 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



nize your lordship's voice. [A pause.] Well, 
my lord, I did hear them say there was a 
private view they fJiought of going to at 
the Grosvenor. You might find Miss 
Saunders tiere. 

B&seiB. You need n't elaborate, Pole. 

Pole. I was only making it more con- 
vincing. Miss. [lAstening.] I think so, my 
lord. Of course I could n't say for certain, 
my lord, they might have gone out to 
Ranelagh. 

Bebsie. Really, Pole. 

Pole, Very good, my lord. [He puts 
down the receiver.] His lordship asked if 
you was expected in to tea. Miss. 

Bessie. I see, 

Pole. Is there anything else. Miss. 

Bessie. No, Pole, thank you. 

{He goes out. Sfte finishes arrang- 
ing IheJloTvers.] 

[The door iafiung open and Lady Gratstom 
comes in followed by Fi*)ming Harvev. 
Pearl — Lady Gbayston — isahartd- 
some, dashing creature, a woman of 
thirty'four, with red hair and a aym- 
plexion outrageously painted. She is 
dressed in a Pans frock, bui of greater 
daring both in colour and cut than a 
Frenchwoman woidd ■wear. Flbmino 
is a nice-looking young American in 
clothes that viere obviously made in New 
York.] 
Pearl. My dear Bessie, I've found an 
entirely strange young man on the door- 
step who says he is a cou ' 

Bbssik [giving him her 
aiS.y]. Flemii^I 

Fleming, I introduced myself to Lady 
Grayston. She drove up just as they were 
opening the door. Please reassure your 
sister, Bessie, She looks upon me with 
suspicion. 

Bessie. You must remember Fleming 
Harvey, Pearl. 

Pearl. I've never set eyes on him in my 
life. But he looks quite nice. 
Bessie. He is. 

Fleming. I rang up five minutes ago 
and Bessie ordered me to come round right 

Pearl. Well, make him stop to tea. 



Is enthusiasti- 



I've got to telephone. I've suddenly re- 
membered that I 've asked twelve people to 
dinner. 

Bessie. Docs George know? 

Pearl. Who is George? 

Bessie. Don't be absurd. Pearl. George 
— your husband. 

Pearl, Oh! I could n't make out who 
you meant. No, he does n't know. But 
what's much more important, the cook 
does n't know either. I'd forgotten George 
was in London. [She goes out,] 

Bessie. George generally dines out 
when Pearl is giving a party because he 
does n't like people he does n't know, and 
he seldom dines at home when we're alone 
because it bores him. 

Fleming. It does n't sound as if Sir 
George enjoyed many of the benefits of 
home life. 

Bessie. Now let's sit down and make 
ourselves comfortable. You are going to 
stay to t«a, are n't you? 

Fleming. It's not a beverage that I am 
in the habit of imbibing. 

Bessie, When you've been in England a 
month you won't be able to do without it. 
When did you land? 

Fleming. This morning. You see, I've 
lost CO time in coming to see you. 

Bessie. I should think not. It is good 
to see someone straight from home. 

Fleming. Have you been having a good 

Bessie. Wonderful I Since the begin- 
ning of the season, except when Pearl has 
had people here, I've been out to lunch and 
dinner every day, and I've been to a ball 
every night, generally two, and some- 
times three. 

Fleming. Gee! 

Bessie. If I stopped now I'd drop down 

FI.B^UNG. D' you Eke England? 

Bessie. I adore ifc. I think it's too bad 
of popper never to have let me come over 
before. Rome and Paris are nothing. 
We're just trippers there, but here we're 

Fleming. Don't get too much at home, 
Bessie. 
Bessie. Oh, Fleming, I ney^ thaiike4 



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49 



you tor sending roe the roses. It was per- 
fectly sweet of you. 

Fleming [with a smile]. I did n't send 
any roses. 

Bessie. Did n't you? Well, why did n't 
you? 

Fleming. I had n't time. But I will. 

Bessie. It 's too late now. 1 naturally 
thought they were from you because Eng- 
lishmen don't send flowers in the same way 
as American boys do. 

Fleming. Is that so? 

[There is a eligkt pause. Bessie 
gives him a quick look.] 

Bessie. Fleming, I want to thank you 
for that charming letter you wrote me. 

Fleming. There's no occasion to do 
that, Bessie. 

Bessie. I was afraid you might feel 
badly about it. But we'll always be the 
greatest friends, won't we? 

Fleming. Always. 

Bessie. After all you were eighteen 
when you asked me to marry you and I 
was sixteen. It was n't a very serious en- 
gagement. I don't know why we did n't 
break it off before. 

Fleming. I suppose it never occurred 
to us. 

Bessie. I'd almost forgotten it, but 
when I came over here I thought I'd better 
make everything quite clear. 

Fleming [laiih a smile]. Bessie, I beheve 
you're in love. 

Bessie. No, I'm not. 1 tell you I'm 
having a wonderful time. 

Fleming. Well, who sent you the rosea? 

Bessie. I don't know. Lord Bleane. 
. Fleming. You 're not going to marry a 
lord, Bessie? 

Bessie. Have you any objections? 

Fleming. Well, on first principles I 
think American girls had better marry 
American men, but tJien I happen to be an 
American man. 

[Bessie looksathimfi^amoTnenL] 

Bessie. Pearl gave a dinner party last 
night. I was taken in by a cabinet minister 
and on the other side of me I had an am- 
bassador. Just opposite was a man who 
had been Viceroy in India. Madame An- 
gelotti dined with us and she sang after- 



wards, and a lot of people came on from an 
official dinner in their stars and ribands. 
Pearl looked superii. She's a wonderful 
hostess, you know. Several people told me 
they would rather come here than to any 
house in London. Before Pearl married 
George Grayston she was engaged to a boy 
who was in business in Portland, Oregon, 

Fleming [smiling]. I see you're quite 
determined to marry a lord. 

Bi;ssiE. No, I'm not, I'm keeping an 
open mind on the subject. 

Fleming. What d' you mean by that? 

Bessie, Well, Fleming, it has n't es- 
caped my notice that a certain noble lord 
is not unwilling to lay his beautiful coronet 

Fleming. Don't talk like a novelette, 
Bessie. 

Bessie. But it feels like a novelette. 
The poor dear is trying to propose to me 
every time he sees me, and I'm doing all 1 
can to prevent him. 

Fleming. Why? 

Bessie. I don't want to refuse him, and 
then wish I had n't. 

Fleming. You could easily make him 
ask you again. Women find that so simple. 

Bessie. Ah, but supposing he went right 
away to shoot big game in Africa. It's 
what they do, you know, in novelettes, 

Fleming. I 'm reassured about one 
thing. You 're not in the least In love with 

Bessie. I told you I was n't. You don't 
mind my saying all this to you, Fleming? 

Fleming. Gracious, no; why should I? 

Bessie. You're sure you don't feel sore 
at my throwing you over? 

Fleming [cheet^fvUy]. Not a bit. 

Bessie. I am gisd, because then I can 
tell you all about the noble lord. 

Fleming. Has it occurred to you that 
he wants to marry you for your money? 

Bessie. You can put it more prettily. 
You can say that he wants to marry me 
with my money, 

li^EMiNO. And is that a prospect that 
allures you? 

Bessie. Poordoar, what else can he do? 
He 's got a large place to keep up and he 
sin) ply has n't a cent. 



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Fleming. Really, Bessie, you aniaae me. 
Bessie. I shan't when you've been here 
a month, 

[Pearl comes iit.) 

Peabl. Now, Bessie, tell me all about 
this atraoge young man. 

Bessie. He's quite capable of telling 
you about himself. 

Pearl [to Fleming]. How long are you 
staying? 

Fleming. A couple of months. I want 
to see something of English life. 

Peabl, I see, D' you want to improve 
your mind or d' you want to go into society? 

Fleuino. I suppose I could n't combine 
the two. 

Peabl, Areyouricii? 

Fleming, Not at all. 

Peabl, It does n't matter, you're good- 
looking. If one wants to be a success in 
London one must either have looks, wit, or 
a bank-balance. You know Arthur Fen- 
wick, don't you? 

FLBMNe. Only by reputation. 

Peabl. How superciliously you say that, 

Fleming, He provides bad focd to the 
working classes of the United States at 
an. exorbitant price. I have no doubt he 
makes a lot of money. 

Bessie. He's a great friend of Pearl's, 

Peabl. When he first came over because 
they turned up their noses at him in New 
York, I said to him, my dear Mr. Fenwick, 
you 're not good-looking, you 're not amus- 
ing, you're not well-bred, you're only rich. 
If you want to get into society you must 
spend money. 

Fleming. It was evidently in the nature 
of a straight talk, 

Bessie. We must do what we can for 
Fleming, Pearl. 

Pearl \mtk a chuckle]. We'll introduce 
him to Minnie Surennes. 

Fleming, Who in the world is she? 

Pearl. The Duchesse de Surennes. 
Don't you remember? She was a Miss 
Hodgson. Chicago people. Of course 
they're nobody in America, but that 
does n't matter over here. She adores 
good-looking boys, and I dare say she's 
getting rather tired of Tony. [To Bebsib.] 



By the way, they're coming in this after- 

Bessib. I don't like Tony. 
Peabl. Why not? 1 think he's charm- 
ing. He's the most unprincipled ruffian I 

Fleming. Is Tony the duke? 

Pbabl, Whatduke? Herhusband? Oh, 
no, she divorced hira years ago. 

Bessie. I think Fleming would like the 
Princess much better, 

Peabl. Oh, well, he'll meet her here 
to-day also. 

Bessie, She was a Miss van Hogg, 
Fleming, 

Fleming. Was she divorced too? 

Peabl. Oh, no,herhuBband'san Italian. 
It's very difficult to get a divorce in Italy. 
She's only separated. She's quite nice. 
She's one of my greatest friends. She 
bores me a little. 

[Pole ct/mes ut lo announce Thornton 
Clai and then goes out. Thohnton 
Clay is a stoui American with a bald 
head and an effusive manner. Be is 
somewhat overdressed. He speake imlk 
a marked American accent.] 

Pole. Mr. Thornton Clay. 

Clay. How d' you do? 

P'earl. You're the very person we 
want, Thornton, An entirely strange 
youi^ man has suddenly appeared on my 
doorstep and says he's my cousin. 

Clav. My dear Pearl, that is a calamity 
which we Ainericans must always be pre- 
pared for. 

Bessie, I won't have you say such 
things, Mr. Clay. Fleming is not our only 
cousin, but he's my very oldest friend, 
are n't you, Fleming? 

Pearl, Bessie has a charming nature. 
She really thinks that friendship puts one 
under an obligation, 

Fleming. Since you're talking of me, 
won't you introduce me to Mr. Clay. 

Pearl, How American you are. 

Fleming [amUing]. It's not unnatural, 
is it? 

Pearl. We have n't over here the pas- 
sion that you have in America tor intro- 
ducing people. My dear Thomton, allow 



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me to present to you my long-loat cou 
Mr. Fleming Harv y 

Clay. It 1 ngsn I was in America 
that I almost f g t b t I believe the 
proper anaw t U at is — Mr. Fleming 
Harvey, I'm pi aaed t n ake your ac- 
quaintance. 

Flbminq. 4 n t j an American, 
Mr. Clay? 

CiAY. I won't deny that I was born in 
Virginia. 

Fleming. I beg your pardon, I thoi^ht 
from the way you spoke . . . 

Clay [inlemipling]. But of course my 
home is London, 

Pbael, Nonsense, Thornton, your home 
is wherever there's a iirst-class hotfll. 

Clay. I went to America seven years 
ago. My father died and I had to go and 
settle up his affairs. Everyone took me 
for an Englishman. 

FiBMiNO. That must have gratified you 
very much, Mr. Clay. 

Clay. Of course I have n't a trace of aji 
American accent. I suppose that was the 
reason. And then my clothes. 

[He looks down at them with satis' 
faction.] 

Pearl. Fleming wants to see lite in 
London, Thornton. He can't do better 
than put himself under your wing. 

Clay. I know everyone who's worth 
knowing. 1 can't deny that. 

Peael. Thornton calls more countesses 
by their Christian names than any man in 

Clay. I'll get him cards for some good 
balls and I'll see that he's asked to one or 
two of the right parties. 

Pearl. He's good-looking and I'm sure 
he dances well. He'U be a credit to you, 
Thornton. 

Clay [to Flemino]. Butof course there's 
really nothing I can do for you. At Lady 
Grayston's you are in the very hub oE so- 
ciety. 1 don't mean the stuffy, old-faah- 
ioned sowety that goes out in barouches I 
and bores itself stiff, but the society that '■ 
counts, the society that figures in the i 
newspapers. Pear! is the most wonderful 
host^ in London. 

Pearl. What do you want, Thornton? 



SI 



Clay, In this house, soone 
you'll meet every remarkable ir 
land except one. That is Sir George. And 
he's only remarkable because he's her 
husband. 

Peabl [ipith a chuckle]. I might have 
known you were only saying a pleasant 
thing in order to make the next one more 
disagreeable. 

Clay. Of course I can't make out why 
you never ask George to your parties. Per-' 
sonally I like him. 

Pearl. That's all the nicer of you, 
Thornton, since he always speaks of you 
as that damned snob. 

Clay [udtk a shrug of the shoulders]. Poor 
Gcoi^c, he has such a limited vocabulary. 
1 met Flora della Cercola at luncheon to- 
day. She told me she was coming to tea 
with you. 

Pearl. She's getting up a concert in aid 
of something or other and she wants me to 
help her. 

Clay. Poor Flora with her good works! 
She takes philanthropy as a drug to allay 
the pangs of unrequited have. 

Pearl. I always tell her she'd do much 
better to take a lover. 

Clay. You'll shock Mr. Harvey. 

Pearl. It won't hurt him. It'll do him 

Clay. Did you ever know her husband? 
Pearl. Oh, yes, I met him. Just the 
ordinary little Dago. 1 cannot imagine 
why she should ever have been in love with 
him. She's an extraordinary creature. D' 
you know, I'm convinced that she's never 
had an aflair. 

Clay. Some of these American women 
are strangely sexless. 

Fleming. I have an idea that some of 
them are even virtuous. 

PsARL [with a smile]. It tak^ aU sorts 
to make a world. 

[Pole enters lo announce the Ddchesse db 
SuRENNES and then goes out.] 
POLB. The Duchesse de Surennes. 

[The DccHESSB ij a large dark 
woman, of forty-five with scarlet 
lips and impudently painted 
cheeks, a woman of opvlerdform,. 



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bold, self-assvred, and 
geously senaitol. ~~ 

A vhrey Beardsley. She is g<nmi 
m i^ .a - «rrfSin~dasking magnifi- 
cence, and wears a long string 
of large pearls round her neck. 
During the conversaiion Pou: 
and two footmen bring in tea and 
place it in the back dramng- 

Pbakl, My dear, how nice of you to 

DucHBSSE. Is n't Tony here? 

Pbabl. No. 

DucHBSSB, He said he was coming 
straight here. 

Pearl. I daresay he's been delayed. 

DucHBSSE. I can't understand it. He 
telephoned a quarter of an hour ago that 
he was starting at once. 

Pbabl [Teas3arin^y\. He'll be here 
presently. 

DucHESSB [vnth an effort oner herself]. 
How pretty you're looking, Bessie. No 
wonder all the men I meet rave about 

BssaiE. Englishmen are so shy. Why 
don't they rave to me? 

DucHESSE. They'll never let you go 
back to America. 

Pbabl. Ot course she's never going back. 
I'm determined that she shall marry an 
Englishman. 

Clay. She'll make a charming addition 
to our American peeresses. 

Pearl. And there'll bcanothcr that you 
can call by her Christian name, Thornton, 

BsasrE. 1 wish you would n't talk as if 
I had n't a word to say in the matter. 

Clay. Of course you've got a word to 
Bay, Bessie, a very important one. 

Bessie. Yes, I suppose. 

Clay. Exactly. 

Pearl. Pour out the tea, darling, will 
you? 

Bessie. Surely. [To Clat-I I know you 
don't share Fleming's contempt for tea, 
Mr. Clay. 

Clat. I could n't live a day without it. 
Why, I never travel without a tea basket. 

Fleming [ironically]. Is that so? 



Clat. You Americana who live in 
America . . . 

Fleming [uTwter his breath]. So queer of 

Clat. Despise the delectable habit of 
drinking tea because you aie still partly 
barbarous The hour that we spend over it 
IS the most dehghttul of the day. We do 
not make a business of eating as at lunch- 



eon or dinne V, are 


t as wth 


selves We t V ^ th I 


tty cakes aj 


excuse for c rs t 


W disuss 



th 

abstract our 1 ur m al w play 
dehcatelj with th t ur n gh 

hour a new b n t h 1 t 1 1 V, 

drmk tea bee w h ghly 1 d 

nation. 

Fleming. I must be very stupid, but I 
don't follow. 

Clay. My dear fellow, the degree ot a 
nation's civiUzation is marked by its disre- 
gard for the necessities of existence. You 
have gone so far as to waste money, but 
we have gone farther; we waste what is 
infinitely more precious, more transitory, 
more irreparable, we waste time. 

DucHEaSE. My dear Thornton, you fill 
me with despair. Compton Edwardes has 
cut me off my tea. I thought he was only 
depriving me of a luxury, now I see he's 
depriving me also of a rdigious rite. 

Fleming. Who in Heaven's name is 
Gomptoa Edwardes that he should have 
such right? 

Pearl. My dear Fleming, he's the most 
powerful man in London. He's the great 
reducer. 

Fleming. Gracious! What does he re- 

Pbarl. Fat! 

DucHBasE. He's a perfect marvel, that 
man. Do you know, the Duchess ot Arling- 
ton told me he'd taken nine pounds off her. 
Pearl. My dear, that's nothing. Why, 
Lady Hollington gave me her word ot hon- 
our she'd lost over a stone. 

Bessie [from the tea'labk]. Anyone who 
wants tea must come and fetch it. 

[The men saunter over to the next 
room, TBhUe Pearl and the 
D17CHESBE go on with their con- 
versation.] 



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DucHESSE. Who is that nice-looking 
young man. Pearl? 

Pearl. Oh, he's a young American. He 
pretends to be a cousin of mine. He's come 



5B. Does he wa«t to marry her? 

Pbabl. Good Heavens, 1 hope not. 
He's only aa old friend. You know the 
funny ways they have in America. 

DucHESSB. I suppose nothing is really 
settled about Harry Bleane. 

Peabl. No. But I should n't be sur- 
prised it you saw an announcement in The 
Morning Post one day. 

DucHESSB. Has she enough money tor 
him? 

Pbahl. She has a million. 

DncHBSSB. Not pounds? 

Peabi- Oh, no, dollars. 

Ddchessb. That's only eight thousand 
a year. I should n't have thought he'd be 
fiatisSed with that. 

Pearl. People can't expect so much 
nowadays. There won't be any more enor- 
mous heiresses as there were in your time. 
Besides, Harry Bleane is n't such a catch 
as all that. Of course it's better to be an 
Bngiish baron than an Italian count, but 
that's about ali you can say for it. 

Dtjchesse. Of course she'll accept him? 

Pbahl. Oh, yes, she's craay to live in 
England. Andasltei! her, it's quite pleas- 
ant to be a peeress even now. 

DucHESSE. What on earth can have 
happened to Tony? 

IS;abl. My dear, he's not likely to have 
been run over by a motor-bus. 

DucHESSB. I'm not afraid of motor- 
buses running over him. 1 'm afraid of him 
running after Gaiety gixls. 

Peahl [drily], 1 should have thought 
you kept a very sharp eye on him. 

DucBESSE. You see, he has n't got any- 
thii^ to do from morning till night. 

Peabl. Why does n't he get a job? 

DuCHBSsB. I've been trying to get him 
something, but it'ssodifRcult, You've got 
auch a lot of influence. Pearl, can't you do 
something? I should be so grateful. 

Peabl. What can he do? 

DucBESse. Anything. And as you know 
he's very good-looking. 



Peakl. Does he know French and Ger- 
No, he has no gift for lan- 



Pba-BL. Can he type and writ* ahort- 

Dochesse. Oh, no, poor dear, you can 
hardly expect that. 

Peabl. Can he do accoimts? 

DucHESSB. No, he has no head for 
figures. 

Peabl [refiecHndy]. Well, the only thing 
I can see that he'd do for is a government 

DireHESSE. Oh, my dear, if you could 
only manage that. You can't think what a 
comfort it would be for me to know that 
he could n't get into mischief at least from 
ten to four every day. 

[Pole announces Tony Paxton. Tont is 
a handsome youth of twenty-five, in 
beautiful chthes, imth engaging manners 
and a charming smile.] 
Pole. Mr. Paxton. 
Pbabl. Well, Tony, how is life? 
Tony. Rotten. I have n't backed a win- 
ner or won a rubber this week, 

Peabl. Ah, well, that's the advantage 
of not having money; you can afford to 



[bursting in]. Where have 
you been, Tony? 

ToNT. 1? Nowhere. 

DucHBSSE. You said you were coming 
straight here. It does n't take twenty-five 
minutes to get here from Dover Street, 

Tony. I thought there was n't any hurry. 
I was just hanging about the club. 

DcrcHESBE. I rai^ up the club again and 
they said you'd gone. 

Tony [after a very slight pause]. 1 was 
downstairs having a shave and I suppose 
they never thought of looking for me in the 
barber's shop. 

DncHESSB. What on earth did you want 
to be shaved for at halt-past tour in the 
afternoon? 

Tont. 1 thought you'd like me to look 
nice and clean. 

Pearl. Go and get Bessie to give you 
some tea, Tony; I'm sure you want it after 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



the atreuuoua da\ jou've had. [He nodi 
and walks into the inner room.] Minnie, 
how can vou be tj sijl> ' 1: ou can't expect 
to keep a man if \ou treat him like that. 

DocHBaSB. I tnow he's lying to me; 
there 's not a word of truth in anything he 
says, but he's so shm I can never catch 
him out. Oh, I'm so jealous. 

Peahl, Are you really in love with him? 

DucHBSSE. He 's everything in the world 
tome. 

Peabl. You should n't let yourself be 
carried away like this. 

DocHESSE. I'm not cold-blooded Uke 

Pearl. You seem to have a passion for 
rotters, and they always treat you badly. 

Ddchbssb. Oh, 1 don't care about the 
others. Tony is the only one I've ever 
really loved. 

Peabl. Nonsense! You were just aa 
much in love with Jack Harris. You did 
everything in the world for him. You 
taught him to wear his clothes. You got 
him into society. And the moment he 
oouJd da without you he chucked you. Tony 
will do just the same. 

DocHBSSE. I'm cot going to be such a 
fool this time. I'm going to take care he 
can't do without me. 

Pearl- I can't imagine what you see in 
him. You must know that , . . 

DucHBSSE [inleTrupUng]. There's very 
little 1 don't know. He's o liar, a gambler, 
an idler, a spendthrift, but in his way he 
is fond of me. [Appealingly.] You can see 
he's fond of me, can't you? 

Pearl. He'ssomuoh younger than you, 
Minnie. 

DucHEssB. I can't help it. I love him. 

Pearl. Oh, well, I suppose it's no good 
talking. As long as he makes you happy. 

Ddchebsb. He does n't. He makes me 
miserable. But I love him. ... He wants 
me to marry him, Pearl. 

Pearl. You're not going to? 

DucHEasB. No. I won't be such a fool 
as that. If I married }>'<" I 'd have no hold 
over him at ail. 

[Enter Pole to announce the Princess 
DELLA Cbbcola. She IS a tall, thin 
xootrtan o/ thirty-five with a pole, hag- 



gard face and great dark eyes. She is a 
genUe, kind creature, but there ie some- 
thing ■paihetic, almost tragic in her ap- 
pearance. She is dressed, though very 
well and obviously by a Paris dress- 
maker, mere qirielly than the Duchesse 
or Pearl. She has not only wealth, bid 
dislinclian.] 
Pole. Princess della Cercola. [B:nt.] 
[Pearl gets up to receive her. 
They kiss.] 
Pearl. Darling. 

Princess. D' you hate me for coming to 
bother you? I rang up because I know how 
difficult you are to catch. [Kissing the 
Duchesse-I How are you, Minnie? 

DocHESSE. Don't ask me for a subscrip- 
tion, Flora. I'm so poor. 

Princess [smiling]. Wait till I tell you 
what it's for and then you'll remember 
that you had a father called Spender 

Ducebsse [wilh a Utile groan]. As if I 
wanted to be reminded of it. 

Pearl. You're so absurd, Minnie, You 
should make a joke of the pork. 1 always 
tell people about father's hardware store, 
and when I have n't got a fimny story I 

Princess. You've made your father 
quite a character in London. 

Peahl. That's why I never let him 
come over. He could n't possibly live up 
to his reputation. 
(Fleming Harvey comes forward from the 

Fia:MiNG. I'm going to say good-bye to 



you. 



. before I'v 



Pearl. You must n 
introduced you to Flora. Flora, this is Mr. 
Fleming Harvey. He's just come from 
America. He probably carries a six-shooter 
in his hip-pocket. 

Fleming. I'm told I mayn't say I'm 
pleased to make your acquaintance. 
Princess. 

Princess. When did you land? 

Fleming. This morning. 

Princess. I envy you. 

Fleuing. Because I landed this morn- 
ing? 



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55 



Pbincess. No, because a week ago you 



D0CBB8SE. Flora! 

Fleming. I was beginning to think it 
was something to be rather ashamed of. 

PwNCEss. Oh, you must n't pay any 
attention tfl Pearl and the DucheBse. 
They're 60 much more English than the 
En^h. 

Feasl. 1 notice you show your devotion 
to the country of your birth by staying 
away from it, Flora. 

Princess. Last time I was in America 
it made me so unhappy that I vowed I'd 
never go there again. 

DucHESSE, I was there ten years ago, 
when I was divorcing Gastun. I had n't 
been in America since my marriage and 
I'd foi^tten what it was like. Oh, it was 
so crude! Oh, it was so provinciaJI You 
don't mind my saying so, Mr. Harvey? 

Fleming. Not at all. You're just as 
American as 1 am and there's no reason 
why amoi^ ourselves we should n't abuse 
the mother that bore us. 

DucHESSE. Oh, but I don't look upon 
myself as an American. I'm French. 
After ail, I have n't a trace of an American 
accent. To show you how it got on my 
nerves, I almost did n't divorce Gaston be- 
cause I thought I could n't bring myself tu 
Stay in America long enough. 

Princess. It'snot because it was crude 
and provincial that I was unhappy in 
America. And Heaven knows, Boston is n't 
either. I was unhappy because after all 
it was home, the only real home I've ever 
had, and I was a stranger. 

Pearl. My dear Flora, you're being 
very Bentimental. 

Princess [smiiinj]. I'm sorry, I apolo- 
gize. You're a New Yorker, Mr. Harvey? 

FUMING. I 'm proud of it, madam. 

Princess, New York's wonderful, isn't 
it? It has something that no other city in 
the world has got, 1 like to think of Fifth 
Avenue on a spring day. The pretty girls 
in their snlart frocks and neat shoes who 
trip along so gaily, and all the good-looking 

DocHESSE. I grant that; some of the 
boys are too lovely foi words. 



Princess. Everyone is so strong and 
confident. There's such an exaltation in 
the air. You feel in the passers-by a serene 
and unshakeable belief in the future. Oh, 
it's very good to be alive in Fifth Avenue 
on a Munny day in April, 

Fleming. It's good for an American to 
hear another American say such pleasant 
things about his country. 

Phincbss. You must come and see me, 
and you shall t«ll me all the news of home, 

Peael. How high the newest building 
is and how much money the latest million- 
aire liaa got. 

Fleming. Good-bye, 

Pearl. Have you made friends with 
Thornton Clay? 

Fleming. I hope so.' 

Pearl. You must get him to give you 
the iiddresB of his tailor. 

Fleming. Are n't you pieced with my 
clotlies? 

Pearl. They 're very American, you 



Fle' 



qI. 



forward. The 



IThornton Clay co. 

Dttchessb stroUs over to the inner room 

and is seen tatking loith Bessie and 

Tony Paxton,] 

Pearl. Thornton, I was just telling Mr. 

Harvey that you'd take him to your tailor. 

Clay. I was going to suggest it. 

Fleming. My clothes are not at all a 

Pearl. Who d' you go to? Schulta? 

Clay. Of course. He's the only tailor 
in London. [To Flemikg.] Between our- 
selves, he was born in Hamburg, but we 
can't possibly do without him, so when he 
suddenly discovered he was a Swiss we fell 
on his neck and blessed him for the inspira- 

Flbming, I'm pleased, at all events, to 
think it's a German tailor who's going to 
make me look like an Englishman. 

life goes out. Thornton Tnakes 
his fareweUs.] 
Clay. Good-bye, Pearl. 
Pearl. Are you going? Don't forget 
you're corning down to Feathers on Satur- 
day. 



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CluVY. I won't, indeed. 1 adore your 
week-end parties, Pearl. I'm so exhausted 
by Monday rooming that I'm fit tor noth- 
ing for the rest ot the week. Good-bye. 

[He shakes hands and goes out. 
Aa he is going, Pole opens the 
door lo aiiTunince Lord Blbanb. 
He is a very young man, vers 
English in appearance, . 
clean and well groomed.] 
Pole. Lord Bleane. [Exit.] 

Pearl. Dear Harry, how nice of you. to 

Bleane. I'm in absolute despair. 

Pearl, Good Heavens, why? 

Bleane. They're sending a mission to 
Russia to hand the Garter to some big wig 
jnd I've got to go with it. 

Pearl. Oh, but that'll be very interest- 
ing. 

Bleane. Yes, but we start to-morrow 
and I shan't be able to come down to 
Feathers on Saturday. 

Pearl, When do you come back? 

Bleane. In four weeks. 

Pearl, Then come down to Feathers the 
Satiuday after that. 

Bleane. May I? 

Pbabl. You must go and break the news 
to Bessie, She was so looking forward to 
your visit. 

Bleane. D' you think she'll give me 
some tea? 

Pearl. I have no doubt, if you ask her 
nicely. [lie goes over to the inner room.] 

Princess. Now I've got you to myself 
tor two minutes. You will help me with 
my concert, won't you? 

Pearl. Ot course. What do you want 
me to do? I'll make Arthur Fenwick take 
any number of tickets. You know how 
charitable he is. 

pHiNCBsa, It's tor a very good cause. 

Pearl. I'm sure it is. But don't harrow 
me with revolting stories of starving chil- 
dren. I'm not interested in the poor. 

Princess [amUing]. How can you say 
that? 

Pearl. Are you? I often wonder if your 
philanthropy ia n't an elaborate pMe. You 
don't mind my saying that, do you? 

Princess [good-humowedly\. Not at all. 



You have no heart, and you can't imagine 
that anyone else should have. 

Pearl. I have plenty of heart, but it 
beats tor people of my own class. 

PitiNCBss. I've only found one thing 
really worth doing with all this money I 
have and that is to help a little those who 

Fbabi, [with a shrug]. So long as it makes 
you happy. 

Princess. It does n't, but it prevents 
me from being utterly miserable. 

Pearl. You make me so impatient, 
Fiora. You've got more money than you 
know what to do with. You're a princess. 
You 've practically got rid ot your husband. 
I cannot imagine what more you want. I 
wiah I could get rid of mine. 

Princess [smtKng]. I don't know what 
you've got to complain of in Geoi^e. 

Pearl. That's just it. I shouldn't 
mind if he beat me or made love to chorus 
girls. I could divorce him then. Oh, my 
dear, thank your stars that you had a hus- 
band who was grossly unfaithful to you. 
Mine wants me to live nine months of the 
year in the country and have a baby every 
five minutes. I did n't marry an Knglish- 
man for that. 

Princess. Why did you marry him? 

Pearl, I made a mistake. I'd lived all 
my life in New York. I was very ignorant. 
I thought a baronet was quite important. 

Princess. I often wonder if you're 
happy, Pearl. 

Pearl. Do you? Of course I'm happy. 

Princess. An ambassador told me the 
other day that you were the most powerful 
woman in I-ondon. It's very wonderful 
how you've made your way. You had 
nothing very much to help you. 

Pearl. Shall I tell you how it was done? 
By force of character, wit, unscrupulous 
ness, and push. 

Princess [smiiinffl. You're very frank. 

Pearl. That has always been my pose. 

Princess. I sometimes think there's 
positive genius in the way you've ignored 
the snubs of the great. 

Pearl [with a chuckle]. You're being 
very unpleasant, Flora. 

Princess. And there's something very 



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57 



like heroism in the callousness with which 
you've dropped people when they've 
Berved your turn. 

Peahl. You're driving me to the con- 
clusion that you don't altogether approve 
of me. 

Princess. On the other hand, I can't 
help admiring you. You'vebrought all the 
determination, insight, vigour, strength, 
which have made our countrymen turn 
Amenca mto what it is, to get what you 
wanted In a way your life has been a work 
of art And what makes it more complete 
18 that nhat you've aimed at is trivial, 
transitor) , and worthless. 

Peabi- My dear Flora, people don't 
hunt m order to catch a fox. 

pHiMCEBS. Sometimes docs n't it make 
you rather nervous, when you're sitting on 
the top of your ladder, in case anyone 
should give it a kick 



)re than a kick to 

D' you remember 

made such a fuss 

love with 



Pbari™ It'll want 
topple my ladder ovc 
when that silly wom 
because her husband 
It was n't till I just escaped the divorce 
court that the duchesses really took me 
up. 



DfCKESSB. We really roust be going, 
Peail. I expect my masseur at six. Comp- 
ton Edwardes told me about him. He's 
wonderful, but he's so run after, if you 
keep him waiting a moment he goes away. 

Pearl. My dear, do be careful. Nancy 
Hallam got herself down to a mere nothing, 
but it made her look a hundred. 

DuceBSSE. Oh, I know, but Compton 
Edwardes has recommended to me a won- 
derful woman who comes every morning to 
do my face. 

Pearl. You are coming to my ball, 
are n't you? 

DiTCHBSBE. Of course we're coming. 
Yours are almost the only parties in Lon- 
don where one amuses oneself as much as 
at a night club. 

Peakl. I'm having Ernest to come in 
and dance. 

DUCHE3&E. 1 thought of having him one 



evening. How much does he charge for 
coming ia socially? 

Pearl. Twenty guineas. 

DrcHESSE. Good Heavens, I could never 
afford that. 

Pearl. What nonsense! You're far 
richer than I am. 

DucHEssE. I'm not so clever, darling. 
I can't think how you do so much on your 

Pe\ri, [amused]. I 'm a very good man- 
ager. 

DccBBssE. One would never think it. 

Good-bye, dear. Are you coming, Tony? 

[She goes out,] 

Tony. Yes. [Shaking kantk withTE/^JU..] 
I've not had a word with you to-day. 

pEi^L [chaffing kirn]. What are we to do 
about it? 

Prikcess. I must get Minnie to go to 
my concert. Minnie. [She goes out.] 

IToNT is t^t face to face mth Pearl.] 

Tony. You're looking perfectly divine 
to-day. 1 don't know what there is about 
you. 

Pbahi, [amused, but not disconcerted]. It 
is nice of you to say so. 

Tony. I simply have n't been able to 
take my eyes off you. 

Pearl. Are you making love to me? 

ToNT. That's nothing new, is it? 

Pearl. You 'II get into trouble. 

ToNV. Don't be dis^reeable, Pearl, 

Pearl. I don't remember that I ever 
told you you might call me Pearl, 

TciNT. It's how I think of you. You 
can'1 prevent me from doing that. 

Pearl. Well, 1 think it's very familiar, 

Tony. I don't know what you've done 
to me. 1 think of you all day long. 

Pearl. I don't believe it for a minute. 
You're an unprincipled ruffian, Tony. 

Tony. Do you mind? 

Pi;arl lutitk a chuckle]. Shameless crea- 
ture. I wonder what it is that Minnie sees 

Tont, I have all sorts of merits. 
PnARi. I'm glad you think ao. I can 
only discover one. 
Tony. What is that? 
Pearl. You 're somebody else's property. 



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Tony. Oh! 

Pearl [holding out her hand]. Goctd-bye. 
[He kisses her ims(. Hie lips linger. She 
looks at him from under her eyelashes.] It 
does n't make you irresistible, you know. 

Tony. There's always the future. 

Pearl. The future's everybody's prop- 
erty. 

Tofo- [in an underlcme]. Pearl. 

Pearl. Be quick and go. Minnie will 
be wondering why you don't come. [He 
goes out. Pbabii turns away with a smile. 
Bessie and Lord Blbanb advance into the 
room.] Has Harry broken the news to you 
that he can't come down to us on Saturday? 

[The Princess conies in.] 

Princess. I've got my subscription. 

Peahl. 1 kept Tony up here as long as I 
could so as to give you a chance. 

Phincbss [mith a laugh]. That was really 
tactful. 

Pearl. Poor Minnie, she's as mean as 
cat's meat [mlh a glance at Besoie and 
Lord B.|. If you'd like to come down to 
the morning room we can go tlirough m\ 
visitors' book and see who'll be useful to 
you. 

Princess. Oh, that would be kind of you. 

Pbarl [fo Bleane]. Don't go till I come 
back, will you? I have n't had a word witJi 
you yet. 

Bleane. All right. 

[Pearl and Pbincess go out.] 

Bessie- I wonder if you sent those flow- 
ers, Lord Bleane. 

Bleane. Idid. I thought you would n't 

Bessie. It was very kind of you. 

[She loftes two of the roses and puts 
them in her dress. Bleake is 
overcome with shyness. He does 
not know Iidw to begin.] 
Blbanb. D' you mind if I hght a ciga- 
rette? 

Bessie, Not at all. 

Bleane [as he lights it\. D' you know, 
this is the first time I've ever been alone 
with you. It was very tactful of Lady 
Grayston to leave us. 

Bessie. I'muotsureif itwas n't a trifle 
too tactful. 



Bleane. I was hoping most awfully to 
have the chance of getting a talk with you. 
[The song of the lavender man ie 
heard again in the street. Bes- 
sie welcomes the diversion.] 
Bessie. Oh, listen, there's the lavender 
man come back again. [She goes to the win- 
daw and listens.] Throw him down a shilling, 
will you? 
Bleane. All right. 

[He lakes a coin from his pocket 
and throws it into the street.] 
Bessie. I seem to feel all the charm of 
England in that funny littie tune. It sug- 
gests cottage gardens and hedges and 
winding roads. 

Bleane. My mother grows lavender at 
home. When we were kids we were aJl 
made to pick it and my mother used to put 
it ia little muslin bags and tie them on 
with pink ribbon. And she used to put 
them under the pillows of one's bed and in 
all the drawers. Shall I ask her to send 



Bessie. Oh, that would be such a bother 

Bleane. It wouldn't. She'd like to. 
And, you know, it's not like the lavender 
you buy. It knocks spots off everything 
you can get in shops. 

Bessie. You must hate leaving London 
at this time of year. 

Bleane. Oh, I'm not very keen on Lon- 
don. [Making a dash for U.] I hate leaving 
you. 

Bessie [in comic desperation]. Let's not 
talk about me. Lord Bleane. 

Bleane. But that's the only topic that 

Bessie. There's always the weather in 
England. 

Bleane. You see, I'm off to-morrow. 

Bessie. I never saw any one so obstinate, 

Bleane. 1 shan't see you again for 
nearly a month. We have n't known one 
another very long, and if I had n't been 
going away I expect I'd have thought it 
better to wait a bit. 

Bessie [clasping her hands]. Lord Bleane, 
don't propose to me. 

Bleane. Why not? 

Besbid. Because 1 shall reifiise you. 



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Blbane. Oh'l 

Bessie. Tell me about the part of the 
country you live in. I don't know Kent at 
all. Is it pretty? 

Bleane. I dorft know. It's home. 

Bessie. 1 love those old EUzftbethan 
houses that you have in England with all 
their chimneys. 

Bleane. Well, ours isn't a show place, 
you know. It's just a rather ugly yellow 
brick house that looks hke a, box, and it's 
got a great big stucco portico in front of it. 
1 think the garden's rather jolly. 

Bessie. Pearl hates Feathers NevQ. 
She'd sell it if George would. She's only 
really happy in London. 

Bleane. I don't know that I was so 
particularly struck on Bleane till I was 
over in France. When I was in the hospital 
at Boulogne there did n't seem much to do 
but to think about things ... it did n't 
seem as if I could get well. I knew I should 
if they'd only let rae come home, but they 
would n't; they said I could n't be moved. 
It's rather bleak in our part of the country. 
We've got an east wind that people find a 
bit trying, but it you've been used to it aU 
your life it bucks you up wonderful. In 
Hummer it can be awfully hot down there, 
but there's always somethii^freeh and salt 

marshes ... it was only just across the 
water and it seemed such an awful way off. 
I ain't boring you, am 17 

Bessie. No, 1 want you to tell me. 

Blbane, It's a funny sort of country; 
there are lots of green fields and elm trees 
and the roads wind about — it's rotten for 
motoring — and then you have the marshes 
with dykes in them; we used to jump them 
when we were boys and fall in mostly; and 
then there's the sea. It doesn't sound 
much, but I felt it was the most ripping 
thing I knew. And then there are hop- 
fields, 1 forgot them, and the cast houses. 
They're rather picturesque, I suppose. I 
expect it's hke the lavender to you. To 
me it's just England. [Bebsie gels up and 
VxUks Unvards the windoiD. In the distance 
is heard the melancholy cry of the lavender 
man.] What are you thinking about? 

Bessie. It must be very wonderful to 



fee! like that about one's home. I 've never 
known anythii^ but a red atone house in 
Nineteenth Street. As soon as popper can 
get a decent offer for it we're going to 
move I'arther up town. Mother has a fancy 
for Seventy-Second Street, I don't know 

Bleane. Of course I know it could n't 
mean the same to a girl that it means to 
me. I should n't expect anyone to live 
there always. I can be quite happy in 
London. 

Bessie [w!(fi o gmifc], You'redetermined 
to do it? 

Bleane. It you could brii^ yourself to 
raanymel'dtry and give you a good time. 

Be.ssie. Well, I suppose that's a pro- 

Blbanb. I've never made one before 
and it makes me a bit nervous. 

Bessie. You have n't said anything that 

Bleane. I don't want to say anything 
that you can answer no to. 

Bessie {mith a ehtiekle]. Let me say that 
I'll think it over, may I? 

Bleane. I'm going away to-morrow. 

Bebsie. I'll give you an answer when 
you come back. 

Bleane. But that won't be for four 
weeks. 

Bessie. It'll give us both a chance to 
make up our minds. After all, it is rather 
a serious step. You may come to the con- 
clusion that you don't really want to 

Bleane. There'sno fear of that. 
Bessie. You're coming down to Feath- 
ers fiDr the week-end after you get back. 
If you change your mind send Pearl a wire 
putting yourself off. I shall understand 
and ] shan't be in the least hurt or offended. 
Bleane. Then it's good-bye till tlien. 
Bessie. Yes. And . . . thank you very 
mucli for wishing to marry me. 

Bleane. And thank you very much for 
not refusing me outright. 

[They shake hands and he goes out. 
She walks over to the wndow to 
look at him, glances at the watch 
on her lonsf and then leaws the 
room. In a moment Pole sAuws 



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in Arthob Fbnwick. He is a 
tall, elderly man with a red face 
and grey hair.] 
Pole. I'll tell her ladyship you're here, 

Fenwick. That'll be very good of you. 
[Pole goes out. Fenwick lakes 
a cigar from his case and the 
evening paper from a tatde and 
seiilea fdmself down comfortably 
to read and emohe. He makes 
himself very much oi home.] 
[Pbahl comes in.\ 
Pearl. Are n't Bessie and Harry Bleane 
here? 

Fbnwick. No. 

Peakl. That's very strange. I wonder 
what can have happened. 

Fenwick. Never mind about Bessie and 
Harry Bleane now. Give me your atten- 

Pbabl. You're very late. 

Fenwick. 1 like to come when I stand a 
chance of finding you alone, girlie. 

Pearl. I wish you would n't cail me 
girlie, Arthur. 1 do hate it. 

Fenwick. That's how 1 think of you. 
When I'm present at one of your big aet 
outs and watch you like a queen among al! 
those lords and ambassadors and big wigs 
I just say to myself she's my girlie and I 
feel warm a!i over. I'm so proud of you 
then. You've got there, girlie, you've got 

Pearl [smiling]. You've been very Idad 
to me, Arthur. 

Fenwick. You've got brains, girlie, 
that's how you've done it. It's brains. 
Underneath your flighty ways and that 
casual air of yours, so that one might think 
you were enjoying j'ourself and nothing 
more, I see you thinking it all out, pulling 
a string here and a string there; you've got 
them in the hollow of your hand all the 
time. You leave nothing to chance, Peart, 
you're a great woman. 

Pearl. Not great enough to make you 
obey your doctor's orders. 

Fbnwick [taking the cigar oiit of his 
mav,tK\. You're not going to ask me to 
throwaway the first cigar I've had to-day? 



Pearl. To please me, Arthur. They're 
so bad for you. 

Fenwick. If you put it like that I must 
give in. 

Pearl. 1 don't want you to be ill. 

Fenwick. You've got a great hearc, 
girlie. The world just thinks you're a 
smart, fashionable woman, clever, brilliant, 
beautiful, a leader of fashion, but I know 
different. I know you've got a heart of 
gold. 

Pearl. You're a romantic old thing, 
Arthur. 

Fenwick. My love for you is the most 
precious thing I have in the world. You're 
iny guiding star, you're my ideal. You 
stand to me tor all that's pure and noble 
and clean in womanhood. God bless you, 
girlie. I don't know what I should do if you 
tailed me. I don't believe I could Uve if I 
ever found out you were n't what I think 
you. 

Pearl [wUh her tongve in her cheek]. 
You shan't if I can help it. 

FB>rwicK. You do care for me a little. 

Pearl. Of course I do. 

Fenwick. I'm an old man, girlie. 

Peahi.. What nonsense. I look upon 
you aa a mere boy. 

Fenwick [flallered]. Well, I expect a 
good many young men would be glad to 
have my physique. 1 can work fourteen 
hours on end ajid feel as fresh as a daisy at 
the end of it. 

Pearl. Your vitality is wonderful. 

Fenwick. I sometimes wonder what it 
is that first drew you to me, girlie. 

Pearl. I don't know. I suppose it was 
the impression of strength you give. 

Fenwick. Yes.I'veoftenbeen told that. 
It's very difficult for people to be with me 
long without realizing that — well, that 
I'm not just the man in the street. 

Peael. 1 always feel I can rely on you, 

Fenwick. You could n't have said any- 
thing to please me better. I want you to 
rely on me. I know you. I 'm the only 
man who's ever understood you. I knpw 
that deep down in that big beating human 
heart of yours, you 're a timid helpless little 
thing, with the innocence of a child, and 



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you want a man like rae to atand between 
you and the world. My God, how I love 
you, girlie. 

Peahl. Take care, there's the butler. 

Fbnwick. Oh, damn it, there's alwa3^ 
the butler. 

[Polk comes in vMi a telegram and a parcel 
of books.] 

Peahl [taking telegram and glancing at 
parcel]. What 'a that, Pole ? 

Pole. They'rebooks,mylady. They've 
just come from Hatchard's. 

Pearl. Oh, I know. Undo them, will 
you? [Pole cuts open parcel and takes out 
a bundle of four or five books. Pearl opens 
the telegram.] Oh, bother. There's no 
answer, Pole. 

Pole. Very good, my lady. [Exit.] 

Fenwick. Is anything the matter? 

Pearl. That tool Sturrey was dining 
here to-night, and he's just wired to say he 
can't come. I do hate having my parties 
upset. I'd asked ten people to meet him. 

Fenwick. That 's too bad. 

Pearl. Pompous owl. He's refused in- 
vitation after invitation. I asked him six 
weeks ago this time, and he had n't the 
face to say he was engaged. 

Fenwick. Well, I'm afraid you must 
give him up. I dare say you can do without 

Pearl. Don't be a fool, Arthur. I'll get 
hold of him somehow. He may be Prime 
Minister one of these days. {She reflects a 
mmnent,] I wonder what his telephone 
number is. [She gels up and looks in a book, 
and then si(s doum to lelephwie.] Gerrard 
7035. If he comes once because I force him 
to, he'll come again because he likes it. 
This house is like the kingdom of heaven. 
I have to compel them to come in ... is 
Lord Sturrey in? Lady Grayston. I'll 
hold the line. [Making her voice sweet and 
charming,] Is that you, Lord Sturrey ? It's 
Pearl Grayston speaking. I just called up 
to say it does n't matter a bit about to- 
night. Of course I'm disappointed you 
can't come. But you must come another 
day, will you? That's very nice of you! 
How about this day week? Oh, I'm sorry. 
Would Thursday suit you? Oh. Well, how 



aboui; Friday? You're engaged every 
evening next week? You are in demand. 
Well, I '11 tell you what, get your book and 
tell me what day you are free. 

Fenwick. You're the goods, girlie. 
You'll get there. 

Pearl, Tuesday fortnight. Yes, that'll 
suit me beautifully, 8.30. I'm so glad you 
chose that day because I'm having Pablo 
Casals in to play. 1 shall look forward to 
seeing you. Good-bye. [She puts dmim the 
receiver.] This time I've got him. The ape 
thinks he understands music. 

Fenwick. Have you got Pablo Casals 
for I'uesday fortnight? 

Peabl. No. 

Fenwick. Are you sure you can get 
him? 

Pearl. No, but I'm sure you can. 

Fenwick. You shall have him, girlie. 
[She takes the books that Pom brought in and 
puts Ihem about the room.] What are you 
doing that for? 

Pearl. They're Richard Twining's 
books. He 's comii^ to dinner to-night. 

Fenwick. Why d' you trouble about 
authors, girlie? 

Pearl. Londonisn'tUkeNew York, you 
know. People like to meet them over here. 

Fenwick. I should have thought your 
position was quite strong enoi^h to do 
without them. 

Pearl. Wc live in a democratic age. 
They take the place in society of the fools 
whom kings kept about their courts in the 
middle ages. They have the advantage 
that they don't presume on their position 
to tell one home truths. They 're cheap. A 
dinner and a little flattery is all they want. 
And they provide their own clothes. 

Fenwick. You litter up your house with 
their rotten books. 

Pbahl. Oh, but I don't keep them. 
These are on approval. I shall send them 
all back to the bookseller to-morrow 
morning. 

Fenwick. Pearl, you're a little wonder. 
When you want to go into business you 
come to me and I'll take you into partner- 

Pearl. How is business? 

Fbnwick. Fine. I'm opening two new 



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branches next week. They laughed at me 
when I first came over here. They said I'd 
go bankrupt. I've turned their silly old 
methods upside down. He laughs longest 
who laughs last. > 

Pearl [respectively]. Ah, I can't help 
thinking that's what my dressmaker said 
when she sent in my bill. 

[Me gives a digkt start and looks at 
her shrewdly Heiiee^herblaidly 
smiling.] 

Fenwick, Girlie, you promiiKd me you 
would n't run up any more bills 

Pearl. That's hke promising to love, 
honor, and obey one a husband the kind 
of undertaking no one is reallj e'vpected to 
carry out. 

Fenwick. You naughty little thing. 

Pearl, It's Suzanne — you know, the 
dressmaker in the Place VendSme. The 
war has dislocated her business and she 
wajita to get her money in. It is n't very 
convenient for me to pay just at present. 
It's rather a. large sum. 

]She gives him a sheaf of type- 
mriUen documents.] 

Fenwick. This looks more like a five- 
act play than a bill. 

I^ARL. Few plays keep up the interest 
to the last line. 

Fenwick Uums the pages and looks at the 
toted]. And that is in the nature of a dra- 
matic surptiss- 

Pearl. Clothes are expensive, aren't 
they? I wish I could dress in fig-leaves. It 
would be cheap and I beUeve it would suit 

Fenwick [pulling the bill in his pocket]. 
Well, I'U see what 1 can do about it. 

Pearl. You are a duck, Arthur . . . 
would you like me to come and lunch with 
you to-morrow? 

Fenwick. Why, sure. 

Pearl. All ri^t. Now you must go, as 
I want to lie down before I dress for dinner. 

Fenwick. That's right. Take care ot 
yourseif , girlie, you're very precious to me. 

Pearl. Good-bye, dear old thing. 

Fenwick. Good-bye, giriie. 

[He goes out. As he goes to door 
telephone bell rings. Peael 
takes up Tec&3!0:] 



Peabl. You'respeaking to Lady Grays- 
ton. Tony ! Of course I know yoiw voice. 
Well, what is it? I'm not at aii stern. I'm 
making my voice as pleasant as I can. I'm 
sorry you find it disagreeable. [She giues a 
chuckle.] No, I'm afraid 1 could n't come 
to tea to-morrow. 1 shall be engaged all 
the afternoon. What is the day after to- 
morrow? [Smiling.] WeU, I must ask 
Bessie. I don't know if she's free. Of 
course I'm not coming alone. It would be 
most compromising. A nice-looking young 
man like you. What would Minnie say? 
Oh, I know all about that, ... I did n't 
promise anything, I merely said the future 
was everybody's property. A sleepless 
night. Fancy, Well, good-bye, . . , Tony, 
do you know the moat enchanting word in 
the English language? Perhaps. 

[She puts down the telephone quickly 
and the curtain falls.] 



ACT II 

The Scene is a morni-ng-Toom a( Feathers 
Netfil, the Geaistons' place in the country. 
It has an old-fashioned, comfortable look; 
nothing is kct^ new; the chintzes are faded. 
Three long French toindotm lead on to a ter^ 
race. It is after dirnier; a fine night and the 
windows are open. The leomen of the party 
are sitting down waiting for the men. They 
are Pearl and Bessie, the Duchesse 
DE SuRENNEs and (fte Princess della 
Cehcola. 

pRiNCEas.Youmustbeexhaustedatterall 
thetennisyou played this afternoon, Minn ie, 

DucHESsK, Not a bit, I only played 

Princess. You played so vigorously. It 
made me quite hot to look at you, 

Ddchbbse. If I did n't taJte exercise I 
should be enormous. Oh, Flora, how I envy 
you. You can eat anything you choose and 
it has no eSect on you. And what makes it 
BO unfair is that you don't care about food. 
I am a lazy and a greedy woman, I never 
eat any ot the things I like and I never miss 
a day without taking at least an hour's 



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Pbincess [smiling]. If raortification is 
the first step in sanctity I 'm sure you must 
be on the high ra&d to it. 

Pbahl. One of these days you '11 give up 
the struggle, Minnie, and like Flora take 
to good works. 

DtrcHESSE [witk immense decision]. Never. 
I shall lie on my death bed with my hair 
waved and a little rouge on my cheeks, and 
with my last breath murmur : not gruel, it 'a 
so fattening. 

Peahl. Well, you'll have more serious 
tennis to-morrow. Harry Bleane plays 
much better than Thornton. 

Dtjchesse. It was very tiresome of him 
not to eome till it was just time to dress. 

Pearl. He only got back from Russia 
yesterday and he had to go down to see his 
mother. [With an amused (/lance at her sis- 
ter.] Bessie asked me not to put him next 
her at dinner. 

Bessie. Pearl, are you a cat! I do think 
it's hateful the way you discuss my private 
affairs with all and sundry. 

DcrcHEfiaB. My dear Bessie, they've 
long ceased to be your private affairs. 

Pearl. I'm afraid Bessie misses her op- 
portunities. Just before he went to Russia 
I left them alone together and nothing hap- 
pened. All my tact was wasted. 

Bessie. Yourtactwastooobvious, Pearl. 

DiTCHESSB. Well, do be quick and bring 
hiKi to the scratch, my dear. I'm growing 
tired of people asking me, is he going to 
propose or not. 

Bessie. Don't they ever ask, is she go- 
ing to accept him or is she not? 

DrCHESSE. Of course you'il accept him. 









Princess [smiting]. Perhaps it depends 
cm the way he asks. 

■ Pearl. For Heaven's sake, don't expect 
too much romance. Englishmen are n't 
romantic. It makes them feel absurd. 
George proposed to me when he was in 
New York for the Horse Show. 1 was n't 
very well that day and I was lying down. 
I was looking a perfect fright. He told me 
all about a maie he had and he told me all 
about her father and her mother and her 
uncles and her aunts, and then he said, 
look here, you'd better marry me. 



«3 

Pbincess. How very sudden. 

Pearl. Oh, I said, why did n't you tell 
me you were going to propose. I'd have 
had my hair waved. Poor George, he asked 

DucHEssE. The French are the only 
nation who know how to make love. Whea 
Gaston proposed to me he went down on 
his knees and he took m\ hand and he said 
he couldn't ln° without me Of course I 
knew that because he had n't a cent, but 
still it thrilled me. He said I was his guid- 
ing star and his guardian angel. Oh, I 
don't know what It was beautif uL I knew 
he'd been haggling with pipn for a tort- 
night about having his debts paid; but it 
was beautiful 

Pe; bl Beheve me Bessie the flourish- 
ing st ite of father s store is a much sounder 
basil for matrimonial happiness than any 
amount of passion. 

Bessie. Oh, Pearl, what is this you've 
been telling people about popper selling 
bananas? 

Pearl. Bananas? Oh, I remember. 
They were saying that Mrs. Hanly used to 
wash the miners' clothes in California. 
That and her pearls ace taking her every- 
where, I was n't going to be outdone, so I 
said father used to sell bananas in the 
streets of New York, 

Bessie. He never did anything of the 

Pearl. I know he did n't, but I thought 
people were getting rather tired of the 
hardware store and I made a perfectly kill- 
ing story out of it. 1 had a new Callot 
frock on and X thought I could manage the 
bananas. 

Ddchesse. a roost unpleasant vege- 
table. So fattening. 

[The men come in. Thornton Clay, 
Arthur Fenwick, and Fleming. 
Peahl and Bessie gel up.] 
Bessie. You've been a long time. 
Ddchesse. Where is Tony? 
Clay. He and Bleane are finishing their 

DocHBSSE. Well, Mr. Harvey, are you 
still enjoying hfe in London? 

Clay. He should be. I've got him in* 



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vitatioEs to all the nicest parties. But he 
will waste his time in sight-seeing. The 
other day, Thursday night, wasn't it? I 
wanted to take hira to Hurlingham and he 
insisted on going to the National Gallery 
instead. 

Pearl [smiling]. What an outrageous 
proceeding. 

Fleming. 1 don't see that it was any 
more outrageous for me than for you. I 
saw you coming in just as I was going 

Pearl, I had a reason to go. Arthur 
Penwiek has just bought a Bronzino and I 
wanted to see those in the National Gal- 
lery. 

DucHESSE. I think it's muth more 
likely that you had an assignation I've 
always heard it's a wonderful place foi 
that. You never meet any of your friends, 
and if you do they're there for the same 
purpose and pretend not to see you. 

li^MiNO. I certainly only went to see 
tbe pictures. 

Clay. But good Heavens! If you want 
to do that there's Christie's and there you 
will meet your friends. 

Fleming. I'm afraid you'll never make 
a man of fashion out of me, Thornton. 

Pearl. I wish those men would come 
and then we could dance. 

DucHESSB. Oh, that'll be charming. 
It's such good exercise, isn't it? I'm told 
that you dance divinely, Mr. Harvey. 

Fleming, I don't know about that. I 

DccHBSSB [to the Princess], Oh, my 
dear, who d' you think I danced with the 
other night? [Impressively.] Ernest. 

Princess, Oh I 

DucHESSE. My dear, don't say oh! like 
that. Don't you know who Ernest is? 

Pearl. Ernest is the most sought man 
in London. 

Princess. Do you mean 



Ddchbbsb. Oh, my dear, you must n't 
call him that. He'd be furious. He is n't 
a professional. He gives lessons at ten 
guineas an hour, but only to oblige. He's 
invited to all the best dances. 

Fleming. One of the things that rather 



surprised me at balls was to see all these 
dancing masters. Do English girls like to 
be pawed about by Greeks, Dagos, and 
Bowery toughs? 

Clay. You Americans who live in 
America, you're so prudish, 

DucHBSSB. Believe me, I would go to an^ 
dance where tiere was the remotest chance 
of meetii^ Ernest. It's a perfect dream 
to dance with him. He showed me a new 
step and I can't get it quite right. 1 don't 
know what I shall do if I don't run across 
him soon again. [Blbanb and Tony Pax- 
ton Mine in/ram the terrace.] At last. 

Tony. We've been taking a stroll in the 
garden. 

Pearl. I hope you showed him my tea 
house. 

BessiB. It's Pearl's new toy. You must 
be sure to admire it. 

Pearl. I'm very proud of it. You know 
George won't let me do aJiything here. He 
says it's his house and he isn't going to 
have any of my muck. He won't even 
have new chintzes. Well, there was an 
old summer house [pointing] just over 
there, and it was all worm-eaten and horrid 
and tumble-down, and what they call pic- 
turesque, but it was rather a nice place to 
go and have tea in, as it had a really charm- 
ing view; I wanted to pull it down and put 
up a smart Japanese tea house instead, hut 
George would n't hear of it because, if you 
please, his mother — a peculiarly plain 
woman — used to sit and sew there. Well, 
I bided my time, and the other day when 
George was in London I pulled down the 
old summer house, got my Japanese tea 
house down from town, put it up, and had 
everything finished by the time George 
cs,meback twenty-tour hourslater. Hevery 
nearly had an apoplectic stroke. If he had I 
should have tilled two birds with one stone. 

Bessie. Pearl! 

Princess. I don't know why you fur- 
nished it so elaborately. 

Peabl. Well, I thought in the hot 
weather I'd sleep there sometimes. It'll 
be just like sleeping in the open air. 

Fenwick. These young people like to 
dance, Peari. 

Pearl. Where would you like to dance, 



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in here with the gramophone or in the 
drawing-room with the pianola? 

Bessie. Oh, in the drawing-room. 

Pearl. Let's go there then. 

Bessie [to Clay). Come and help me 
get the rolls out. 

Clay. Right you are. 

[They go out, followed by the 
DucHESSB, Pearl, and To\t, 
Fen WICK and Bbssib.] 

FLBMiNa [to the Pbincess]. Are n't you 
coming? 

Pkincbbs. Ko, I think I '11 stay here for 
the present. But don't bother about me. 
You must go and dance. 

Fleming. There are enough men with- 
out me. I'm sure Thornton Clay is a host 
in himself. 

PiuNCEsa. You don't like Thornton? 

Fleming. What do they think of a man 
like Thornton Clay in Ei^land? Don't 
they despise him? 

Princess. Ever3Tfhere, in New York as 
much as in London, there are masses of 
people stni^ling to get into society. It's 
Bueh a common sight that one loses the 
sense of there being anything disgraceful 
in it. Pearl would tell you that EngUsh 
society is a little pompous; they welcome a 
man who can make them laugh, Thornton 
is very useful. He has high spirits, he's 
amusing he makes a party go 

Fleming I should have thought a man 
could find some better use for hn life thin 
that 

Princess I m so glad that jou n. not 
go ng to be dazzled b> this English life 
that dazzles so many of our countrymen 
Amuse ■yourself learn what jou can from 
it take all tie good it offers jou and go 
batk to America 

Fleming I shall be glad to go back 
Perhaps I ought never to ha\e come 

Princess. I'm afraid you're not very 
happy. 

Fleming. I don't know what makes you 
think that. 

Pbincess. It 's not very hard to see tliat 
you're in love with Bessie. 

Fleming. Did you know that I was 
engaged to her? 

Pbincebs [surprised]. No. 



FiEuiNG. I was engaged to her before 
I went to Harvard. 1 was eighteen then 
and she was sixteen. 

Princess. How very early in life you 
young people settle things in America. 

Fleming. Perhaps it was rather silly 
and childish. But when she wrote and told 
me that she thought we'd better break it off 
I discovered I cared more than I thought. 

Princess. What did you say to her? 

Fleming. I could n't try to hold her to 
a promise she gave when she was a school 
girl. 1 answered that I sympathized and 
understood. 

Princess. When did this happen? 

Flbminq. a couple of months ago. Then 
1 got the chance to go over to Europe and 
I thought I'd come to sec what was going 
on. It did n't take me long to tumble. 

Princess. You're bearing it very well. 

Fleming. Oh, the only thing I could do 
was to be pleasant, I should only have 
bored her if I 'd made love to her. She took 
our engagement as an amusing joke and 
there was n't anything for me to do but 
accept her view of it. She was having the 
time of her life. At first I thought perhaps 
she'd grow fired of all these balls and 
parties, and then if I was on the spot I 
might persuade her to come back to Amer- 
ica with me. 

Princess. You may still. 

Fu:ming. No, 1 have n't a chance. The 
first day I arrived she told me how wonder- 
ful she thought this English life. She 
thinks it full and varied. She thinks it has 
beauty. 

Princess. That sounds rather satirical. 

Filming. Pearl has been very nice to 
me. She's taken me about, I've driven 
with her constantly, I've sat in her box at 
the opera, I'm her guest at the moment. 
If I had any decency I'd hold my tongue. 

Princess. Well? 

Fleming [bursting out impetuously]. 
There's something in these surroundings 
that makes me feel terribly uncomfortable. 
Under the brilliant surface I suspect all 
kinds of ugly and shameful secrets that 
everyone knows and pretends not to. This 
is a strange house in which the husband is 
never seen and Arthur Fenwick, a vulgar 



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sensualist, acta as host, and it's an attrac- 
tive spectacle, this painted duchesse, de- 
vouring with her eyes a boy young enough 
to be her son. And the conversation — I 
don't want to seem a prude ; I daresay peo- 
ple over here talk more freely than the 
people I've known; but surely there are 
women who don't have lovers, there are 
such things as honour and decency and self- 
restraint here. If Bessie is going to remain 
over here I wish to God she'd marry her 
lord at once and get out of it quickly. 

Princess. D'youtliinkshe'llbehappy? 

Fleming, Are they any of them happy? 
How can they espect to be happy when 
they marry for — [The Princess gwes a 
sudden start and Fleming stops short.] I 
beg your pardon. I was forgetting. Please 
forgive me. You see, you're so different. 

Pbincesb. I'm sorry I interrupted you. 
What were you going to say? 

Fleming. It was n't of any importance. 
You see, I've been thinking it over so much 
that it rather got on my nerves. And I 
have n't been able to tell anyone what I 
was thinking about. I'm dreadfully sorry. 

Princess. You were going to say, how 
can they expect to be happy when they 
marry for a trumpery title. You thought, 
they're snobs, vulgar snobs, and the mis- 
ery of their lives is the proper punishment 
for their ignoble desires. 

Fleming [very apologetically]. Princess. 

Princess [ironicaUy]. Princess. 

Fleming. Believe me, I had n't the 
smallest intention of sasing anything to 
wound you. 

Princess. You have n't. It's too true. 
Most of us marry foreigners and they are 
merely snobs. But I wonder if it's all our 
fault. We're not shown abetter way of life. 
No one has ever hinted to us that we have 
any duty towards our own country. We're 
blamed because we marry foreigners, but 
columns are written about us in the papers, 
our photographs are published, our friends 
are excited and envious. After all we are 
human. At first when people addressed me 
as Princess I could n't help feeling thrilled. 
Of course it was snobbishness. 

Fleming. You make me feel a terrible 
cad. 



Princess. But sometimes there 've been 
other motives too. Has it ever occurred to 
you that snobbishness is tne spirit of ro- 
mance in a reach-me-down? I was only 
twenty when I married Marino. I did n't 
see him as a fortune huntmg Dago b it as 
1 Inng Ime of statesmen 
rs, d been a pope m his 
fam ly and a dozen cardinals one of his 
ancestors had been pii t^'d bj T tian for 
centuries the> d hpcn n en of war with 
po ver of 1 f an I death When Marmo 
came and asked me to marry hun it was 
romance that stood in his shoes and beck- 
oned to me. I thought of the palace in 
Rome which I had visited as a tripper and 
where I might reign as mistress. I thought 
it was splendid to take my place after all 
the great ladies, Orsinia, Colonnas, Gae- 
tanis, Aicobrandinis. I loved him. 

Fleming. But there's no need to tell 
me that you could never do anything from 
an unworthy motive. 

Princess. My husband's family had 
been ruined by speculation. He was obhged 
to sell himself. He sold himself for five 
million dollars. And I loved him. You can 
imagine the rest. First he was indifferent 
to me, then I bored him, and at last he 
hated me. Oh, the humiliation 1 endured. 
When my child died I could n't bear it any 
longer. I left him. I went back to America. 
I found mj'self a stranger. I was out of 
place, the life had become foreign to me. 
1 could n't live at home. I settled in Eng- 
land, and here were strangers too. I've 
paid very heavily for being a romantic girl. 



Bessie. Really, Fleming, it's too bad 

of you to sit in here and flirt with the 

princess. Wewant you to come and dance. 

\The Prikcbss, agitated, gets up 

and gees ovt into the garden.] 

[Looking after fter.| Is anything the matter? 

Fleming. No. 

Bessie. Are you coming to dance or are 
you not? 

Fleming. I had quite a talk with Lord 
Bleane after dinner, Bessie. 

Bessie [smiling]. Well? 

Fleming. Are you going to accept the 



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coronet that he's dangling before your 

Bessie. It would be more to tiie point 
it you asked whether I am going to accept 
the coronet that he 's laying at my feet. 

Fleming. He'aavery nieefellow,Bessie. 

Bessie. I know that. 

Fleming. I wanted to dislike him and I 
could n't, 

Bessie. Why? 

Fleming. Well, 1 don't think much of 
these English lords who run after American 
girls for their money, I expected him to be 
a brainless loafer, with just enough cunning 
to know his market value, but he's a mod- 
eat, unassuming fellow. And he's cheery. 
I wanted him to talk about tho war, but he 
would n't. To tell the truth, I'm puzzled. 

Bessie [chaffing him]. Fancy that. 

Flbminq. 1 think it's a low-down thing 
he's doing, and yet he does n't seem a low- 
down fellow, 

Bessie. He might be in love with me, 
you know, 

Fleming. Is he? 

Bessie. No. 

Fleming. Are you going to marry him? 

Bessih. I don't know. 

FuiMiNO. I suppose he 's come here to 
ask you. 

Bessie [o/terasAw! pause]. He asked me 
a month ago. 1 promised to give him an 
answer when he came back from Russia . . . 
I'm in a panic. He's waiting to get me 
alone. I was able to be quite flippant about 
it when 1 had a month before me, but now, 
when I've got to aay yea or no, I'm so 
jumpy I don't know what to do with my- 
self. 

Fleming. Don't marry him, Bessie, 

Bessie. Why not? 

Fleming. Well, first you're no more in 
love with him than he is witJi you, 

Bessie. And then? 

Fleming. Is n't that enough? 

Bessie. I wonder if you realize what he 
offers me. Do you know what the position 
of an English peeress is? 

Fleming. Does it mean so much to be 
called your ladyship by tradesmen, 

Bessie. You donkey, Fleming. If I 
marry an American boy ray life will be 



over; if I marry Harry Bieane it will be 
only just beginning. Look at Pearl. I 
could do what she's done; I could do more, 
because George Grayston is n't ambitious. 
I could make Harry do anythii^ I liked. 
He would go into politics and I should have 
a salon. Why, I could do anything. 

FusMiNQ [drily]. I don't know why you 
should be in a panic. You've evidently 
made np your mind. You '11 have a brilliant 
marriage, with crowds outside the church, 
your photograph will be in all the papers, 
you'll go away for your honeymoon and 
you'll come back. What will you do then? 

Bessie. Why, setOe down. 

Fleming. Will you break your heart 
like the princess because your husband has 
taken a mistress, or will you take lovers 
like the Duchesae de Surennes, or will you 
bore yourself to death like Pearl because 
your husband is virtuous and wants you 
to do your duty? 

Bessie. Fleming, you've got no right to 
say things like that to me. 

Fleming. I'm sorry if I've made you 
angrj'. I had to say it. 

Bessie, Are you quite sure that it's for 
my sake you don't want me to marry Lord 
Bieane? 

[Lord Bleane enters from terrace.] 

Bleanb, I was looking for you every- 
where. I wondered where you'd got to. 
[There is a moment's pause. Flem- 
ing Hahvey looks from Bessie 
to Bleane,] 

Fleming. I really must go and dance 
with the duchesse or she'll never forgive 

Bleane. I've just been dancing with 
her. My dear fellow, it's the most violent 
form of exercise I've ever taken. 

Fleming. I'm in very good condition. 
[He goes oul.I 

Bleane. Blessings on him. 

Bessie. Why? 

Bleane. Because he's left us alone. 
Ask me another. 

Bessie. 1 don't think I will. 

Bleane, Then I '11 ask you one, 

Bessie. Please don't. Tell me all about 



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Bi.EANB. Russia is an empire. Its cap- 
ital is Petrograd. It has three rivers of 
navigable size. 

Bessie. You "re in very high spirits to- 

Bleanb. You may well wonder. Every- 
thing has conspired to depress them. 

Bessie. Oh, what nonsense. 

Blbane. First, I was ia England tiirty- 
six hours before I had a chance of seeing 
you, secondly when I arrived you 'd already 
gone up to dress, then when I was expect- 
ing to sit next to you at dinner 1 was put 
between Lady Grayston and the princess, 
and laatly you made me pound away at 
that beastly pianola when I wanted to 
dance with you. 

BBsaiE. Well, you've survived it all. 

Bleane. What I want to point out to 
you is that if notwithstanding I'm in high 
spirits I must have a most engaging nature. 

Bessie. I never dreamt of denying it. 

Bu;akb. So much to the good, 

Bessie. The man's going to propose to 

Bleanb. No, I'm not. 

Bessie. I beg youi pardon. My mistake. 

Bleane. I did that a month ago. 

Bessie. There's been a change of moon 
since then and no proposal holds good 
after the new moon. 

Bleane. 1 never knew that. 

Bessie. You've been down to see your 
mother. 

Bleane. She sends you her love. 

Bessie. Have you told her? 

Bleane. I told her a month ago. 

[Bessie does not speak for a mo- 
ment; when she answers it is 
more gravely.] 

Bessie. You know, I want to be frank 
with you. You won't think it disagreeable 
of me, will you? I'm not in iove with you. 

Bleane. I know. But you don't posi- 
tively dislike me? 

Bessie. No, I like you very much. 

Bleane. Won't you risk it, then? 

Bessie [almost lragica}ly\. I can't make 
up my mind. 

Bleane. I'll do all I can to make you 
happy. I'll try not to raal 
myBelf. 



Bessie. I suppose I'm a perfect fooL 
I ought to play the game prettily. You see, 
I know that you can't afford to marry a 
girl who is n't well-to-do. Everyone knows 
what 1 have. Pearl has taken good care 
that they should. You would n't ever have 
thought of me otherwise. We're arranging 
a deal. You give your title and your posi- 
tion and I give my money. It's a common- 
place thing enough, but somehow it sticks 
in my throat. 

[Bleane hesilaXes a moment and 
walks up and dovxn. thinking.] 

Bleane. You make me feel an awful 
swine. The worst of it is that some part of 
what you say is true, I'm not such a fool 
that I did n't see your sister was throwing 
us together. I don't want to aeem a con- 
ceited ass, but a fellow in my sort of posi- 
tion can't help knowing that many people 
think him rather a catch. Mothers of our 
marriageable daughters are very trans- 
parent sometimes, you know; and if they 
don't marry their daughters they're deter- 
mined it shan't be for want of trying. 

Bessie, Oh, I can quite believe that. I 
have noticed it in American mothers too. 

Bleane. 1 knew it would be a good thing 
if I married you. I don't suppose I should 
have thought about you it I had n't been 
told you were pretty well off. It's beastly 
now, saying all that, 

Bessie. I don't see why. 

Bleane. Because after a bit I found out 
I'd fallen in love with you. And then I 
did n't care if you had n't got a bob. I 
wanted to marry you because — because — 
I did n't know what to do without you. 

Bessie. Harry! 

Bleane. Do believe mc, I swear it's 
true. I don't care a hang about the money. 
After all we could get along without it. 
And I love you. 

Bessie. It's very good to hear you say 
that. I 'm so absurdly pleased and flattered. 

Bleane, You do believe it, don't you? 

Bessie. Yes. 

Blbane. And will you marry me? 

Bessie. If you like. 

Bleane. Of course I like. 

\He takes her in his arms and kisses 
her.] 



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Bessib. Take ci 



BLEAtfE [smiling and happy]. Come into 
the garden with me. 

[He stretches out his hand; she ftesi- 

tates a moment, smilea, takes it, 

and together they go out on lo 

the terrace. For the moment the 

music of a one step is heard more 

loudly, and then the Duchessb 

omi Tony Paxton come in. She 

sinks into a chair, fanning her- 

sey and he goes over to a table, 

takes a cigarette and lights it,] 

DucHBsaB. Did you see? That was 

Harry Bleane and Bessie. I wondered 

where they were. 

ToNT. You've got eyes like a lynx. 

DccHEasE. I 'm positive they were hand 

Tony. It looks as if she'd worked it at 
last. 

EtucHBSsE. I don't know about that. It 
looks as if he'd worked it. 

Tony. She'snot such a catch as all that. 
If I were a peer I'd sell myself for a damned 
sight more than eight thousand a year. 

DocHESSE. Don't stand so far away, 
Tony. Come and sit on the sofa by me. 

Tony [going over to her]. I say, I've been 
talking to Bleane about two-seaters, 

DucHESSE [very coldly]. Oh. 

Tony [giving her a look oiU of the corner 
of his eye]. He says I can't do better than 
get a Talbot. 

Duchessb. I don't see why you want a 
car of your own. You can always use one 
of mine. 

Tony. That'anot the same thing. After 
all, it won't cost much. I can get a ripper 
for just over five hundred pounds, with a 
really smart body and self-starter and 
everything. 

Duchessb. You talk as though five hun- 
dred pounds were nothing at ail. 

Tony, Hang it all, it is n't anything to 
you. 

DcrcHBSBB. What with the wai and one 
thing and another I'm not so terribly flush 
just nqw. No one knows the claims I have 
on me. Because one has a certain amount 
of money one's supposed to be made of it. 



They don't realize that if one spends it in 
one way one can't spend it in another. It 
costs me seven thousand pounds to have 
my house redecorated. 

Tony [sulkily]. You said I could buy 
myself a car, 

Duchessb. I said I'd think about it. I 
was n't under the impression that you 'd 
go and order one right away, 

Tony. I've practically committed my- 
self now. 

DrrcHEasE. You only want a car so that 
you can be independent of me. 

Tony. Well, hang it all, you can't ejcpect 
me to be tied down to your apron stringa 
always. It's a bit thick if whenever I want 
to take a man down to play golf I liave to 
ring up and ask if 1 can have one of your 
cars. It makes me look such an ass. 

DT7CHEasB. Don't you know there's 
nothingin the world I would n't do for you? 

Tony [quickly]. Well, why don't you 
marry me? 

Duchessb [with a gasp]. I can't do that. 
You know I can't do that. 

Tony. Why not? You could stJJl call 
yourself Duchesse de Surennes. 

DocHBSSE. No, I've always told you 
nothing would induce me to marry. 

Tony. That shows how much you love 

DocHESSE. Marriage is so middle class. 
It takes away all the romance of love. 

Tony. You simply want to have your 
freedom and keep me bound hand and foot. 
Doyou think it's jolly to know what people 
say about me? After all I've got some 

Ddcbesse. I'm sure we shall be able to 
get you a job soon and then no one will be 
able to say anything. 

ToNT. I 'm getting fed up with the whole 
buskkess; I tell you that straight. I'd just 
as soon chuck it. 

Duchesse. Tony, you don't mean to 
say you want to leave mel I tell you I'll 
kill myself if you do. I could n't bear it, 
I could n't bear itl I'll kill myself. 

Tony. For God's sake, don't make such 



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ToNT. 1 don't want to make you un- 
happy, but really aometimea you are un- 
reasonable. 

DucHESSB. You mean about the car? 

ToNT. I was n't thinking about the car 

DncHBSSE. You can have it if you like. 

ToNT, I don't want it now. 

DocHESSE. Tony, don't be unkind. 

Tony. I'm not going to take any more 
presents from you. 

DircHEaBB. I did n't mean to be un- 
reasonable. I'd like you to have the car, 
Tony. I'll give you a check for it to- 
morrow. ICoaxingly.] Tell me what the 
body's like. 

ToNT [sH^ij/l- Oh, it's a torpedo body. 

DucHEBSE. You'll take me tor a drive 
in it sometimes. 

[He turns round and looks at her. 
She puts ovl her hand; he thaws 



ToNT. Of course I do. 

Dl'chessb. You have a good heart, 
Tony, Kiss me. 

ToNT. [He kisses her. Pleased and excited^ 
I saw an awfully jolly body in a shop in 
Trafalgar Square the day before yesterday. 
I 've got a half mind to get the people who 
made your body to copy it. 

DucHBSSE. Why don't you get it at the 
shop you saw it at. My people are terribly 
expensive and they are n't any better than 
anybody else. 

Toijy. Weil, you see, I don't know any- 
thing about the firm. 1 juat happened to 
catch a^ht of it as I was passing. 

DucHBSBE. What on earth were you 
doing in Trafalgar Square on Thursday? 
1 thought you were going to Ranelagh. 

ToNT. I was put off. I had n't got any- 
thing to do, so I thought I'd just slope to 
the National Gallery for half an hour. 

DucHBsee, That's the place I should 
have expected you to go to. 

\A sudden suspicion comes to the 
DocHESSe that he was there viith 
Pearl, 6u( she makes no sign 
thai he can see.] 



[Blandly.] Did you look at the Bronzinos? 

Tony [falling into Ike trap]. Yes. Axtiiur 
Fenwick bought one the other day at 
Christie's. He paid a devil of a price for it 



egort 



i for you. 



DucHESSB [clenching her hand i, 
to hide her agitation,]. Oh! 

Tony. 1 do think it's rot, the prices peo- 
ple pay for old masters. I'mblowod if I'd 
give ten thousand pounds for a picture. 

DucHEsae. We'll go to the National 
Gallery together one of these days, shall 

Tony. Idon'tknow that Iwaot tomake 
a habit of it, you know, 

[PBARLond Thornton Clay come in. Dur- 
ing the conversatiem the DucHEaSB sur- 
Teptitiously watches Pbari, and Tony 
for signs of an intelligence between 
them,] 
Pearl. I've got great 
Bessie and Harry Bleane a 

DucHBSSE. Oh, my dear, I'm so glad. 
How gratified you must be. 

Pbabl, Yes, I'm delighted. You must 
come and congratulate them. 

Clat. Above all we must congratulate 
one another. We've all worked for it, 
Peari. 

Tony. He had n't much chance, poor 
blighter, had he? 

Pearl. We're going to have one more 
dance and then Arthur wants to play poker. 
You must come. 

Clay ]to the Ddcrebse], Will you dance 
this with me, Minnie? 
DncHEs.'SE. I'd lilie to. 

[Clay gives her his arm. She 
throws Tony and Pearl a 
glance and purees her lips. She 
goes out vnth Clay.] 
Pearl. You have n't danced with me 
yet, Tony. You should really pay some 
attention to your hostess. 
Tony. I say, doa't go. 
Pearl. Why not? 

Tony. Because I want to talk to you. 
Pearl [fiippanUy]. If you want to whis- 
per soft nothings in my ear you'll find 
the one step exceedingly convenient. 
Tout. You're a little beast. Pearl, 



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7« 



Pearl, You 've been having' a long talk 
with Minnie. 

Tony. Oh, she's been making me a hell 
ot a Bcene. 

Peasl, Poor thing, she can't help it. 
She adores you. 

Tony. I wish she did n't and you did. 

Pearl [viith a chuckle]. My dear, it's 
your only attraction tor me that she adores 
you. Come and dance with me. 

ToTJT. You 've got a piece of hair out of 
place. 

Pearl. Have I? [She takes a smaU glass 
out of her bag and looks at herself. As she 
does so Tony steps up behind her and kisses 
her Tteck,] You fool! Don't do that I Any- 

ToNT. I don't care. 

Peabl. Ido. Arthur's as jealous aa cat's 

ToNT. Arthur's playing the pianola. 
Pbabl. There's nothing wrong with my 

Tony. Of course there isn't. You're 
perfectly divine to-night. I don't know 
what there is about you. 

Pearl. You 're a foolish creature, Tony. 

Tony. Let's go into the garden. 

Pearl. No, they'll be wondering where 



Pearl. 1 don't want to take a stroll. 

Tony. Pearl. 

Peabl. Yes? [She look^ at him. For a 
moment Ihej/ stare at one another in silence. A 
hot flame of passion leaps up suddenly fce- 
tuven them, arid envelops them, so that they 
forget everything but that they are man and 
woman. The air seems all at once heavy to 
breathe. Peabl, like a bird in a net, struggles 
to escape. Their voices sink and uncon- 
sciously they speak in whispers.] Don't be 
a fool, Tony. 

Tony [hoarsely]. Let's go down to the 
tea house. 

Pearl, No, I won't. 

Tony. We shall be quite safe there. 

Pearl. I dare n't. It's too risky. 

Tony. Oh, damn the risk. 

Pbabl lagilated]. I can't. 



Tony. I'll go down there and wait. 
FZA.RL [breathlessly]. But — if they won- 
der where 1 am? 

Tony. They'll think you've gone up to 
your room. 

Pearl. I won't come, Tony. 
Tony. I 'E wait for you. 

[As he goes out, Arthur Fenwice 

comes in. Pearl gives a slight 

start, but quickly recovers her- 

self.] 

Fenwick. Look here, I'm not going on 

pounding away at that wretched pianola 

unless you come and dance, Pearl. 

Pearl [exhausted]. I'm tired; I don't 
want to dance any more. 
Fenwick. Poor child, youlookquitepale. 
Pearl. Do 1? I thought I'd put plenty 
of rouge on. Am 1 looking revolting? 

Fenwick. You always look adorable. 
You're wonderful. I can't think what you 
see in an old fellow like me. 

Pearl. You're the youngest man I've 
ever known. 

Fen-wick. How well you know the thing 
to say to please me, 

{He is just going to take her in kis 
arms, but instinctively she drauis 

Pearl. Let's play poker now, shall we? 

Fenwick. Not if you're tired, darling. 

Pearl. I'm never too tired for that. 

Fenwick. You don't know how I adore 
you. It's a privilege to be allowed to iove 
you. 

Pearl [sure of herself again]. Oh, what 
nonsense. You'll make me vain if you say 
things like that. 

Fenwick. You do love me a little, don't 
you? I want your love so badly. 

Peabl. Why I dote on you, you silly 
old Ihing. 

[She lakes his face in her hands and 
kisses him, avoids his arms that 
seek to encircle her and goes 
towards door. I 

FsNwicK. Where are you going? 

Peabl. I'm just going to'my room to 
arrange my face. 

Fenwick. My God, how I love you, 
girlie. There's nothing in the world I 
would n't do for you. 



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Pearl. Really? 

Fbnwick. Nothing. 

Pearl. Then ring for Pole and tell him 
to set out the card table and the counters. 

Fbnwick. And I was prepared to give 
you a sable coat or a diamond tiara. 

Pearl, I much prefer chinchilla and 
emeralds. 

Fenwick [taking her hand]. Must you 
really go and arrange your face ? 

Pearl. Really. 

Fenwick. Be quick, then. I can hardly 
bear you out of my sight. 
[He 

Pearl. [She looks at him tenderly.] Dear 

Arthur. [She goes out.] 

[Fenwick rings the bell. Then he 

goes on the lerrace and calls out.] 

Fenwick. Thornton, we're going to play 
pdcer. Get theni to come along, will you? 

CiAT [outside ]. Right-o! 

[Pole comes in.] 

Fenwick. Oh, Pole, get the card table 

Pole. Very good, sir. 

Fenwick. And we shall want the coun- 
ters. Let's have those mother-o'-peari ones 
that 1 brought down the last time I was 

Pole. Very good, sir. 

[The PHINCB8S comes in, Pole proceeds to 
bring a curd UMe into the centre of room 
and unfolds it. He gels a box of counters 
tyut of a drawer and puts them on the 
taUe.] 
Fenwick. Pearl has just gone to her 
room. She'll be here m one minute. 

Princess [looking at the preparations]. 
This looks like more dissipation. 

Fenwick. We're going to have a little 
game of poker. 1 don't think we ought to 
play very long; Pearl is looking terribly 
tired. She'aa very wonderful woman. It's 
very seldom you meet a woman like Pearl. 
She's got a remarkable brain. I've fre- 
quently discuesed business with her and 
I've been amazed at her clear grasp of 
complicated matters. I owe a great deal 
to her. And she's good, Princess, she's 
good. She's got a heart of gold. 



I sure she has. 
Fenwick, She'll always do a good turn 
to anybody. She's the moat generous, the 
most open-handed woman I 've ever met. 



Duchesse. I see. 

[She has her bag in her hand; when 
the others are not looking she 
hides it behind a sofa.] 

Fenwick [innocently]. She would adorn 
any sphere. She's got eYer3^hing, tact, 
brains, energy, beauty, 

Dtjchessb. Virtue. 

Fenwick. If I were the British people 
I'd make her Prime Minister. 

Princess [smiling]. You're an excellent 
friend, Mr. Fenwick. 

Fenwick, Of course you've heard of her 
hostel for young women alone in London? 

Duchesse [sweetly]. Yes, there was a 
great deal about it in the papers, was n't 
there? 

Fenwick. That's the thing I've always 
admired in Pearl. She has a thoroughly 
modern understanding of the value of 
advertisement, 

Duchesse. Yes, she has, has n't she? 

Fenwick. Well believe me, she con- 
ceived the idea of that host*!, built it, en- 
dowed it, organized it, all on her own. It 
cost twenty thousand pounds. 

Duchesse. But surely, Mr, Fenwick, 
you paid the twenty thousand pounds? 
Pearl has n't got sums like that to throw 
away on charity. 

Fenwick. I gave the money, but the 
money is n't the important thing. The idea, 
the oi^anization, the success, are all due 
to Pearl. 

Duchesse. It has certainly been one of 
the best advertised of recent philanthropic 
schemes. 



Clay. We're all dying to play poker 
Fenwick. The table ia ready. 



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Bessie. Where is Pearl? 
Fenwick. She's gone to her room. 
She'll be back in a minute. 

[They gather round the ttAle and 
sit down.] 
Bessie. You'regoing to play. Princess? 
Princess. Oh, I don't think so. I'll 
look on, I'm going to bed in a minute. 
Bessie. Oh, you must play. 

[Princess smiles, shrugs her shoul- 
ders, approaches the table.] 
Fenwick. Leave a place for Pearl. 
DuCHEHSE. You must leave one for Tony 

Clay. What's he domg? 

DucHBSSE. He'll be here presently. 

Fenwick. Shall 1 give out the counters? 
What would you Uke to play for? 

Princess. Don't let it be too high. 

Ddchbsbb. How tiresome of you, Flora. 
1 think I'm in luck to-night, 

Fenwick, We don't want to ruin any- 
one. Forty counters tor a sovereign. 

Princess. Very well. 

Fenwick [to CtiY). Count them out in 
forties, Thornton, Mr. Harvey, you might 
count them out, will you? 

Fleming. Sure, 

[The three of them start counting 

DncHEBSE. Oh, how stupid of me, I 
have n't got my bag. 

Fenwick. Never mind, we'll trust you, 

DucHBSSE. Oh, I'd rather pay at once. 
It saves so much bother. Besides, I hate 
not having my bag. 

Princess. One alwa3r8 wants to powder 
one's nose when one has n't got it. 

Dtjchesse. Bessie, dear, I left it in 
Pearl's new tea house. Do run and fetch 

Bessie. Certainly. 

Blbane. No, I '11 go. 

Bessie. You doa't know the way. I can 
go through the bush^. It's only twenty 
yards. You stop and count out the 
centers. {She goes out.] 

Fenwick. There's one lot of forty. Will 
you take them, Princess? 

Princess. "Thank you. Here's a pound. 

DncHESSE. I'll give you my pound as 
soon as Bessie brings my bag. 



CiAY. How on earth came you to leave 
it ill the tea house? 

DircHBSSB. I 'm so careless. I'm always 
leaving my bag about. 

Clat. Your deal, Fenwick. 

Fenwick. Ante up, Princess. 

pRixcEsa. 1 beg your pardon. 

[She pushes forward a counter. 
Fbnwick deals. The others take 
up their cwds.] 

Fenwick. A shilling to come in. 

Plsming, I'm coming in. 

Blbanb. I always come in. 

Fenwick. I ought n't to, but I shall all 
the same. Are you going to make good 
your ante, Princess? 

Princess. Imay just as well, may n't I? 

Clay. Who bets? 

Princess. I 'm out of it. 

Cl.1T. I said it was a pair of twos. 

Fleming, I'll bet ashilhng. 

Clay. I '11 take it and raise your shilling. 

Fenwick. 1 suppose I must risk my 
money. What have I got to put down. 
Two shillings? 

Fleming. There's your shilling and I'll 
raise you two shillings more. 

Clay. No, I've had enough, 

Fenwick. I'll take you and raise you 
five shillings. 

Fleming. Very well, I'll raise you five 



Fenwick. I'll si 

[BBf 

been watching for her. Bessie is 

excessively disturlxd.] 
Dtjchesse. Ah, there 's Bessie. 
Fenwick ]to Fleming]. What have you 
got? 
DuiniESSE. Did you find my bag? 
Bessie [viitk a gasp]- No, it was n't 

Dn^HESSE. Oh, but I remember dis- 
tinctlj- leaving it there. I '11 go and look for 
it myself. Mr. Fenwick, will you come with 

Bessie. No, don't — you can't get into 
the tea house. 

DucjHEBSE. How d' you know the bag 
ia n't there, then? 

Princess [surprieed]. Bessie, is anything 
the matter? 



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Bessie {in a strained voice]. The door of 
the tea house is locked. 

DucHESSE. Oh, it can't be. I saw Pearl 
and Tony go in there just now. 

{h'BsaiE suddenly hides her face and 
huratt into a flood of teoTB.] 
Princess {atariing to her ftet]. Minnie, 
you devil. What have you been doing? 
DocsESBE. Don't ask what I've been 

Pbincess. How dare you send the girl! 
How cruel! How cruel! 

Fentvick, You must be laistaken. Pearl 
went up to her room. 

DucHESSB. Go and look for her . . . 

[Fbnwick is about to start from his 
chair. Princess puts ker hand 



; you going ( 



Princess. Where a: 



{For a moment there is a pause.] 

Clat [in an embarrassed way]. Well, 

we'd better goon with our game, had n't we? 

[The Princess and Blbanb are 

bending over Bessie trjfing to 

get her to control herself.] 

Fleming. That was your money, Mr. 

Fenwick. 

Fbnwick [staring in front of him with 
red face and blood-shol eyes. Under Ms 
breath]. The slut! The slut! 

[DuCHESSE takes out her bag from 

behind the cushion, gels oiU stick 

for her lips and her mirror and 

begins to paint them.] 

Clat. You'd better deal, Fleming. The 

Princesa won't play, I expect. 

DocHESSE. Deal me cards. I want to 
play. 

Clay. Bleane, come on. We 'd better go 
on with our game. [Blbanb comes /oncard. 
Fleming deals cards. A stormy silence 
hangs over the -party, broken only by the short 
speeches referring to the game; they play to 
try and relieoe the tension. They are all anx- 
iously aumiting Pearl, afraid she will come, 
kTWwing she must, and dreading the mo- 
ment; they are nervous and constrained.] 
Your ante, Bleane. [Bleane puis forward 
a counter. Cards are dealt in silence.] I'm 
coming in. 

[Fbnwick looks at his cards, puis 



forward a couple of counters, but 
does not speak. Fleming puts 
forward counters.] 

Fleming. D' you want a card? 

Bleane. Three, please. 

Clay. Two. 

Fi:tiwicK [with an effort over himself]. I'U 
have three. 

[Fleming deals them as they oak. 
Just as he has given Fleming 
his, Pearl comes in, fdloued 
by ToNT. Tony m smoking a 
cigarette.] 

Pearl. Oh, have you started already? 

Fenwick [nokntly]. WTiere have you 

Pearl. I? My head was aching a iittle 
and I went for a turn in the garden. I 
found Tony composing a sonnet to the 

Fenwick. You said you were going to 
your room. 

Peahl. What are you talking about? 

[She looks around, sees the Duch* 
esse's look of angry triumph 
and gives a slight start.] 
DccHBSSE. Once too often, my dear, 
once too often. 

[Pearl lakes no notice. She sees 
Bessie. 'Bessie has been staring 
at her with miserable eyes and 
now she hides her face. Pearl 
realizes that everything is dis- 
covered. She turns cooUy to 
Tony.] 
Pearl. You damned fool, I told you it 
was too risky. 



The Scene ts the same as in the last Act, the 
morning-room at Feathers. It is the next day, 
Sunday, about three in the afternoon, and the 
sun is shining brightly. 
[Discovered; The Princess, Thornton 
Clay, and Fleming are sitting down; 
Fleming lights another cigarette.] 

Princess, Is it good for you to amoks 
so many cigarettes? 

Fleming. I should a't think so. 



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Clat. He must do something. 

Princess. Perhaps you can get up f 
game of tennis later on. 

Fleming. It's very hot for tennis. 

Clay, Besides, who will play? 

Phincebb. You two could have a single. 

Clat. If we only had the Sunday papws 
it would be something. 

Princess. You can hardly expect them 
in a place Uke this. I don't suppose there 
are many trains on Sunday. 

Clay, I wonder it dinner is going to be 
as cheertii! as luacheon was. 

Fleming. Did Pear! send any explana- 
tion for not appearing at luncheon? 

Pkincbbs. I have n't an idea. 

Ci^T. I asked the butler where she was. 
He said she was lunching in bed. I wish 
I'd thought of that. 

pHiNCBaa. I 'm afraid we were rather 

Clay. Silent! I shall never forget that 
luncheon. Minnie subdued — and silent. 
Tony sulky — and silent. Bessie fright- 
ened — and silent. Blanche embarrassed 
— and silent, Feawick furious — and 
silent. I tried to be pleasant and chatty. 
It was like engaging the pyramids in small 
talk. Both of you behaved very badly. 
You might have given me a little encour- 
agement. 

Fleming. I was afraid of saying the 
wrong thing. The Duchessc and Bessie 
looked as it they'd burst into tears on the 
smallest provocation. 

Pbincbss. I was thinking of Pearl. 
What a humiliation! What a horrible 
humiliation I 

Flemikg. What d' you think she'll do 

Clay. That's what I'm asking myself. 
I have an idea that she won't appear again 



tilln 



«allgi 



Princess. I hope she won't. She's al- 
ways so sure of herself, I could n't bear to 
see her pale and mortified. 

Clay. She's got plenty of courage. 

Princess. I know. She may force her- 
self to face us. It would be a dreadful 
ordeal for all of us. 

Fleming. D' you think she's feeling it 
very much? 



Princess. She would n't be human if 
she were n't. I don't suppose she slept any 
better last night than the rest of us. Poor 
thing, she must be a wreck. 

Fleming. It was a terrible scene. 

PsfNCBSS. I shall never forget it. The 
things that Minnie said. I could n't have 
believed such language could issue from a 
woman's throat. Oh, it was horrible. 

Clay. J t was startling. I 've never seen 
a woman so beside herself. And there was 
no stopping her. 

Fleming. And with Bessie there. 

Princess. She was crying so much, I 
doubt if she heard. 

Clay. I was thankful when Minnie had 
the hysterics and we were able to fuss over 
her and dab her face and slap her hands. 
It was a very welcome diversion. 

Fleming. Does she have attacks like 
tJiat often? 

Clay. I know she did when the young 
man before Tony married an heiress. I 
think she has one whenever there's a crisis 
in the affairs of her heart. 

Fleming. For goodness sake, Thornton, 
don't talk about it as if it were a joke. 

Clay [surprised]. What's the matter, 
Flemmg? 

Fij;ming. I think it's abominable to 
treat the whole thing so flippantly. 

Clay. Why, I was very s3Tnpathetic, I 
was n't flippant. Who got the std volatile? 
1 got the sal volatile. 

Fleming [wilh a shrug of the shoulders], 
I daresay your nerves are a bit on edge. 
You see, before, I only thought things were 
rather queer. It'scomeas, well, asashock, 
to discover exactly what the relations are 
between all these people. And what I can't 
verj' easily get over is to realize that I'm 
the only member of the party who does n't 
take it as a matter of course. 

Clay. We shall never make a man of the 
world of you, Fleming. 

Fleming. I'm afraid that did n't sound 
very polite. Princess. I beg your pardon. 

Princess. I should have few friends if I 
demanded the standard that you do. I've 
learned not to judge my neighbors. 

Flbmino. Is it necessary to condone 



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PaiNCESS. You don't undetstand. It's 
Dot entirely their fault. It "a the life they 
kad. They've got too much money and 
too tew responsibilities, English women in 
our atation have duties that are part of 
their birthright, but we, strangers in a 
strange land, have nothing to do but to 
enjoy ourselvea. 

Fleming. Well, I thank God, Bieane is 
a, decent man and he U taie Bessie out of 
all this. 

[The DncaESSE comes tn Unhke the 
Princess vho is tn o dimmer frock 
smtahie for ilie country the Duchessb 
viears u town dress and a hat ] 

Prikcbss. \o\i \e been changmg vour 
frock, Minnie. 

DucHBSSE. Yes, I'm leaving this house 
in half an hour. I 'd have gone thia morn- 
ing if I'd been able to get away. I always 
thought it is a detestable hole, but now 
that I've discovered there are only two 
trains on Sunday, one at nine and the 
other at half-past four I have no words fo 
express my opinion of it 

Glat. Yet you have an exten=ne vo 
cabulary, Minnie. 

DocBESsB. I've been ]ust aa much a 
prisoner as if I'd been shut up «ith lock 
and key. I've been forced to eat that 
woman's food. 1 thought even mouthful 
would choke me. 

Pbincbss. Do keep cilm Minnie \ ou 
knowhowbad itisfor jou to upset jourself 

DrcHBasE. As soon a'? I found there 
was n't a train I sent oi er to the garage 
and said I wanted to be taken to I ondon 
at once. Would you beheve it I could n t 
get a car. 

C1.AY. Why not? 

I>ucHE88B. One of the cars went up to 
town early this morning and the other is 
being overhauled. There's nothing but a 
luggage cart. 1 could n't go to_London in 
a luggage cart. As it is I shall have to go 
to the station in it. I shall look ridiculous. 

Clay, Have you ordered it7 

DcCHBBSE. Yes. It's to be round at the 
door in a few minutes. 

Clay. What on earth can Pearl have 
sent the oar up to London for? 



DvCHESSE. To show her spite. 
Princess. That's not like her. 
DucHBSSE. My dear, she's been my 
greatest friend for fifteen years. I know 
her through and throi^h, and I tell you 
that she has n't got a smgle redeeming 
quality. And why does she want to have 
the ear overhauled to-day? When you're 
giving a party the least >ou can do is to 
see that your cars are in running order. 

Princess. Oh, well, that was an acci- 
dent. You can't blame her for that, 

DucHBSSB. I only have one thing to be 
thankful for, and that is that she has had 
the decency to keep to her room. I will be 
just. It shows at least that she has some 
sense of shame. 

Princess. Will you let me have a word 
or two with Minoie? 

Clay. Why, of course. Come along, 
Fleming. 

[Clay and Fleming Habvby go 
into the garden.'\ 
Duchesse. My dear, if you're going to 
ask me to turn the other cheek, don't. 
Because I'm not going to. I'm going to 
do all I can to revenge myself on that 
woman. I'm going to expose her. I'm go- 
ing to tell everyone how she's treated me. 
W hen I was her guest! 

Princess. You must take care what you 
say for your own sake, Minnie. 

DucHBSSB. I know quite enough about 
her to make her position in London im- 
possible. I'm going to ruin her. 
Princess. What about Tony? 
D0CHE3SE. Oh, I've finished with him. 
iVh! I'm not the kind of woman to stand 
that sort of treatment. I hope he'll end in 
the gutter. 

Princess. Don't you care for him any 

DocHESsE. My dear, if he was starving 
and went down on his bended knees to me 
for a piece of bread I would n't give it to 
him. He revolts me. 

Princess. Well, I'm very glad. It dis- 
tressed me to see you on those terms with 
a boy like that. You're welt rid of him. 

DucHBSSE. My dear, you need n't tell 
me that. He's a thorough wrong *un and 
that 's all there is about it. He has n't even 



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had the decency to try and excuse himself. 
He has a't even made an attempt to see 

Princess. [Gives her a quick look.] After 
all, he never really cared for you. Anyone 
could see that. 

Dtjchbsse [her voice breaking]. Oh, 
don't say that, Flora! I could n't bear it. 
He loved me. Until that woman came be- 
tween us I know he loved me. He could n't 
help loving me. I did everything in the 
world for him. [She bursts into tears.] 

Pkincbss. Minnie ! My dear, don't give 
way. You know what a worthless creature 
he is. Have n't you any self-respeet? 

DucHBsaB. He's the only man I've 
ever loved. I could hardly bear him out of 
my sight. What shall I do without him? 

Pkincess. Take care, here he is. 
[Tony comes in. He is slarded at seeing Ike 
Dpchessb. She turns away and hur- 
riedly dries her tears.] 
Tony. Oh, I beg your pardon. I did n't 
know anyone wai here 1 was looking for 
some cigarettes 

[He stands there av.kv.ardly not 
hnowing uhelker to go or stay 
The Pbincesb looks at him re- 
fiechxely There t* a moment's 
Silence Then, she shrubs her 
shouiders and goes out. He looks 
at the Ddchessb who stands 
vdlh her back to him. He hesi- 
tates a moment, then, almost on 
the tips of his toes, loalks over to 
the cigarettes, Jilts his case, takes 
another look at the Dcchesse, 
ond isintbeact of Hp-toeing out 
of the room when she slops him 
v>ith her question,] 
Dpcbessb. Where are you going? 
Tony. Nowhere in particular. 
DucHEBBE. Then you 'd better stay here. 
Tout. I thought you wished to be alone. 
Dtjchessb. Is that why you've kept 
away from me all day? [He sinks sulkUy 
into an armchair. The Ddchbssb finaUy 
turns round and faces him.] Have n't you 
got anything to say for yourself at all? 
Tony. What's the good of talking? 
DucHBssB. You might at least say 



you're sorry for the pain you've caused me. 
If you'd had any affection for me you 
would n't have done all you could to avoid 

Tony. I knew you'd only make a scene. 
Di;cHEBSB. Good Heavens, you surely 
don't expect me not to make a scene. 
Tccty. The whole thing's very unfortu- 

DiTCHBSSB. Ha! Unfortunate. You 
break my heart and then you say it's un- 
fortunate. 

Tony. I did n't mean that. I meant it 
was unfortunate that you caught us out. 

Dtjcbesse. Oh, hold your stupid tongue. 
Every word you say is more unfortunate 
tlian the last. 

Tdny. It's because 1 knew you'd take 
offence at everything I said that I thought 
the best thing I could do was to keep out 
of the way. 

Ddcbebbe. You're heartless, heartless. 
If you'd had any decent feeling you could 
n't have eaten the lunch you did. But 
vou munched away, munched, munched, 
munched, till I couM have killed you. 

TONV. Well, I was hungry. 

DrrcHBSSB. You ought n't to have been 
hungry. 

ToNT. What are you going to do about 
It' 

DucHESSB. About your appetite? Pray 
to God your next mouthful chokes you. 

Tony. No, about the other. 

Ddchesse. I'mgoingtoleave thishouse 
this afternoon. 

ToKY. D' you want me to come too? 

DOCHESSK. What d' you suppose it mat- 
ters to me whether you go or stay? 

Tony. It you go I shall have to go too. 

Ddchbssb. You ought to start soon 
then. It'sfour miles to the station. I shall 
be obliged if you will not get in the same 



Tony. I'm not going to walk. They can 

DrcHESSB. There's nothing but a lug- 
gage cart, and I'm going in that. 
"Tony. Isn't there room for me? 
DuCHESSB. No. 

ToNT. When d' you want me to move 
out of my flat? 



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DucHESSi:. What has that got to do 
with me? 

Tony. You know very well that I can't 
pay the rent. 

DuCHEsBB, That's your lookout. 

ToNT. I ahall go to the colonies. 

Dpchessb. That's the very best thing 
you can do. I hope you'll have to break 
stones, and dig, and paint — with lead 
paint. 1 hope you're miserable. 

ToNT, Oh, well, it'll have its compensa- 

DucHBSSE. Such aa — ? 

ToNT. I shall be my own master. 1 was 
about fed up with this, I can t«ll yovi, 

DuCHESSB. Yes, you can say that now. 

ToNT. D' you think it was all jam, never 
being able to call my soul my own? 1 was 
edck to death of it. 

DuCHEBSB. You cad! 

ToNT. Well, you may juat as well know 
the truth. 

DtrcHEBSE. D' you mean to say you 
never cared for me? Not even at the be- 
ginning ? IHe shrugs his shoulders, but does 
not ansuxT. She speaks Oie next phrases in 
mile gasps, graduaily weakening as her emo- 
tion overcomes her. He stands before her in 
sulky »ilente.] Tony. I've done everything 
in the world tor you. I've been like a 
mother to you. How can you be so ungrate- 
ful. You have n't got any heart. If you 
had you 'd have asked me to forgive you- 
You'd have made some attempt to — 
Don't you v>ant me to forgive you? 

Tony. What d' you mean by that? 

DucHBSSE. If you'd only asked me, if 
you'd only shown you were sorry, I'd 
have been angry with you, I would n't 
have spoken to you for a week, but I'd 
have forgiven you, 1 'd have f oi^ven you, 
Tony. But you never gave me a chance. 
It's cruel of you, cruel, 

ToNT. 1 was a damned fool, I know that. 

Dttchbssb. Are you in love with that 
woman? 

Tony. No. 

DucHESSB. Then why did you? Oh, 
Tony, how could you I 

Tout, If one felt about things at night 
aa one does next morning life would be a 
dashed sight easier. 



DoCHBSSE. It I said to you let's let by- 
gones be bygones and start fresh, what 
would you say, Tony? 

[She looks uway. He rests his eyes 
on her refiectively.] 

TONT. We've made a break now. We'd 
better leave it at that. I shall go out to the 
colonies. 

DircHEsSG. Tony, you don't mean that 
seriously. You could never stand it. You 
know, you're cot strong. You 'U only die. 

Tony. Oh, well, one can only die once. 

Dt7CBEssB. I'm sorry for all I said just 
now, Tony. I did c't mean it. 

Tony, It does n't matter. 

DucHESSE. I can't live without you, 
Tony. 

Tony. I've made up my mind. It's no 
good talking. 

DocHESSE. I'm sorry I was horrid to 
you, Tony. I'll never be again. Won't 
you foi^et it? Oh, Tony, won't you forgive 
me? I'll do anything in the world for you 
if only you won't leave me. 

Tony. It's a rotten position I'm in. I 
must think of the future. 

DocHESSE. Oh, but, Tony, I'll make it 
right for you. 

Tony. It's very kind of you, but it's 
not good enough. Let's part good friends, 
Minnie. If I've got to walk to the station 
it's about time 1 was starting, 

(He holds out his hand to her.] 

Dtjchbesb. D' you mean to say it's 
good-bye? Good-bye forever? Oh,howcan 
you be so cruel ! 

Tony. When one's made up one's mind 
to do a thing it's best to do it at once. 

DtrcHESSE. Oh, I can't bear iti I can't 
beariti [She begins to cry.] Oh,whatafool 
I wasl I ought to have pretended not to see 
anything. I wish I "d never known. Then 
you would n't have thought of leaving me. 

Tony. Come, my dear, pull yourself to- 
gether. You'll get over it. 

DticHEsBB [desperately]. Tony, if you 
want to marry me — I'm wilUng to marry 
you. [A pause. J 

ToNT. I should be just as dependent on 
you, D' you think it would be jolly for me 
having to come to you for every five pounds 
I wanted? 



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79 



DDCHEsae. I'll settle something on , 
ao that you'll be independent. A thousand 
a year. Will that do? 

ToNy, You are a good sort, Minnie. 

[He goes owr and sits dou.n be'Hde 
her.\ 

DucRBSSE, You imU be kind to 
won't you? 

Tony. Rather. And look here 
needn't give me that two-'^eater I shall 
be able to drive the Rolls Eoj ce 

Dtjchbsse, We won t staj ajiother i 
ut« in this house. Rmg the bell wdl you' 
You'll come with me in the luggage cart? 

Tony [touching the bell] I much prefer 
that to walking. 

DucBBSBE. It's monstrous th^t there 
should n't be a motor to take luggage 
the station. It's a most uncumfortable 
house to stay in. 

Tony. Oh, beastly. D' you know that I 
did n't have a bathroom attached to my 
bedroom? 

D0CHSSSE. Is the luggage cart ready, 
Pole? 

Pole. I'll enquire, your grace. 

DucHESSB. My maid is to follow in the 
morning with the luggage. Mr. Paxton 
will come with me. [To Tony.] What 
about your things? 

Tony. Oh, they'llbealiright. Ibrought 
my valet with me. 

Pole. Her ladyship isjustcomingdown- 
staira, your grace. 

DucHEsse. Oh, is she? Thank you; 
that'll do, Pole. 

Pole. Very good, your grace. 

[He goes out. As soon as he closes 
the dooT behind him the Duch- 
E88E springs to her ,'eei.] 

DuCHEBSE. I won't see hei ! Tony, see if 
Thornton is on the terrace. 

Tony. All right. [He goes to the French 
windfnD.] Yes, I'll call him, shall 1? Clay, 
comehereaminute, will you? [He goes out.] 
IThobnton Clay comes in, followed im- 
mediately by the Princess and Flesi- 

Ddchessb. Thornton, I'm told Pearl 
is coming downstairs. 



Cu.r. At laat. 

Duchesse. I won't see her. Nothing 
will induce me to see her. 

Princess. My dear, what is to be done? 
We can't make her remain upstairs in her 

Ddchessb. No, but Thornton can speak 
to her. She's evidently ashamed of herself. 
I only ask one thing, that she should keep 
out of the way till I'm gone. 

Clay. I'll do my best. 

DucHBSSE, I'm going to walk up and 
down till the luggage cart is ready. I 
have n't taken my exercise to-day. 

[She goes out.] 

Clay. If Pearl is in a temper that's not 
a veiy pleasant message to give her. 

Princess. You won't find her in a tem- 
per. If she's dreadfully upset tell her what 
Minnie says gently. 

Fleming. Here is Bessie. [She coTnes in.] 
It appears that Pearl is just coming down- 

Be.ssie. Is she? 

Princess, Have you seen her this 
morning, Bessie? 

Bessie. No. She sent her maid to ask 
me to go Ui her, but I had a headache and 

[Then ^^ <^ ^'' curiously. She is 
inclined to be abrupt and silent. 
It may be imagined that she has 
made up her m,ind to some course, 
btU what that is the others cannot 
tell, Fleming goes over and sits 
beside her.] 
Fleming, I'm thinking of going back to 
America next Saturday, Bessie. 

Bessie. Dear Fleming, I shall be sorry 
to lose you. 

Fleming. I expect you'll be too busy to 
think about me. You'll have to see all 
kinde of people and then there's your 
trousseau to get. 

Bessie. I wish you could come over to 
Paris with me, Princess, and help me with it. 
Princess. 1? [She gets an inlding of what 
Bessie means.] ... Of course if I could be 
of any help to you, dear child. . . . [She 
takes Bessie's hand and gives her a fond 
amiie. Bebbib turns away lo hide a tear 
thai for a moment obacares her eyes.] Per- 



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[Pearl comes in. She is perfectly cool and 
coUected, radiant in a wcnderfvl, avda- 
cioMS gown; she is looking her best and 
knows it. There is nothing in her man- 
ner to indicate the smallest recollection of 
the episode that look place on the preced- 
ing evening.] 

Peari. Ihrighily]. Good-morning. 

CiAS. Good-afternoon. 

Peabl, I knew everyone would abuse 
me for coming down so late. It was such a 
lovely day I thought it was a pity to get up. 

CiaAT. Don't be pardonicai, Pearl, it's 
too hot. 

Pearl. The sun streamed into my room 
and 1 said it's a sin not to get up on a 
morning like this. And the more I said I 
ought to get up the more delightful I found 
it to lie in bed. How is your head, Bessie? 

Bessie. Oh, it's better, thank you. 

Pearl. I was sorry to hear you were n't 
feehng up to the mark. 

Bessie. I did n't sleep very well. 

Pearl. What have you done with your 
young man? 

Bessie. Harry? He's writing letters. 

Pearl. Spreading the glad tidings, I 
suppose. You ought to write to his motber, 
Bessie. It would be a graceful attention. 
A charming, frank little letter, the sort of 
thing one would expect an ingSnue to write. 
Straigkt from the heart. 

Clay. I'm sure you'd love to write it 
yourself, Pearl. 

Pearl. And we must think about send- 
ing an announcement to the Morning Past. 

Fleming. You think of everything, 
Pearl. 

Pearl. 1 teke my duties as Bessie's 
chaperon very seriously. I've already got 
a brilliant idea tor the gown I'm going to 
wear at the wedding. 

Fleming. Geel 

Peaml. My dear Fleming, don't say gee, 
it's so American; say, by Jove. 

Fleming. 1 could n't witiout laughing. 

Peabl. Laffing. Why can't you say 
langhing? 

JOKING. I don't want to. 



Pearl. How obstinate you are. Of 
course now that Bessie is going to marry 
an Englishman she'll have to take lessons. 
I know an excellent woman. She's taught 
all the American peeresses. 

Fleming. You surprise me. 

Pearl. She's got a wonderful method. 
She makes you read aloud. And she has 
long lists of words tiiat you have to repeat 
twenty times a day, half instead of haf, and 
barth instead of bath, and carn't instead of 
can't. 

Flemino. By Jove instead of gee. 

Pearl. Peeresses don't say by Jove, 
Fleming. She teaches them to say good 
Heavens instead of mercy. 

Bessie, [Getaup. To Fleming.] D' you 
think it's too hot tor a turn in the garden? 

Fleming. Why, no. 

Bessie. Shall we go, then? 

[They go out together.] 

Pearl. What's the matter with Bessie? 
She must have swallowed a poker last night. 
No wonder she could n't sleep. It's enough 
to give anyone indigestion. 

Clay. You know that Minnie is going 
away this afternoon. Pearl? 

Pearl. Yes, so I heard. It's such a 
bore there are no cars to take her to the 
station. She'll have to go in the luggage 

Clay. She does n't wish to see you. 

Peabl. Oh, but I wish to see her. 

Clay. I daresay. 

Pearl. I must see het. 

Clat. She asked me to tell you that she 
only wished you to do one thing and that 
is to keep out of the way till she's gone. 

Pearl. Then you can go and tell her 
that unless she sees me she shan't have the 
luggage cart. 

Clay. Pear!! 

Pearl. That's my ultimatum. 

Clay. Can you see me taking a message 
like that to the Duchesse? 

Peabl. It'sfour milesto thestationand 
there's not a scrap of shade al! the way. 

Clay. After all, it'snota very um^ason- 
able request she's making. 

Peabl. It she wants the luggage cart 
she must come and say good-bye to me 
like a lady. 



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Clay [lo the Princess). What am I to 
do? We used up all the sal mlalile last 

Princess. I 'U tell her if you like. D' you 
really insist on seeing her, Pearl? 

Pearl. Yes, it's very important, [The 
Princess goes out. Pbarl watches her go 
with a smile]. I 'm afraid Flora is shocked. 
Tell me how luncheon went off. 

Ci,AT. My dear, it was like ft gathering 
ot relations who hate one another after the 
funeral of a rich aunt who's left all her 
money to charity. 

Pearl. It roust have been priceless. I'd 
have given anything to be there. 

Clay. Why were n't you? 

Pearl. Oh, I knew there 'd be scenes 
and I'm never at my best in a scene before 
luncheon. One of Uie things I've learned 
from the war is that a general should 
choose his own time for a battle. 

Clay. Minnie moved heaven and earth 
to get away this morning. 

Peabl. I knew she could n't. I knew 
none of them could go till the afternoon. 

Clay. The train service is atrocious. 

Pearl. George says that is one of the 
advantages of the place. It keeps it rural. 
There's one at nine and another at half- 
past four. I knew that not even the most 
violent disturbances would get people up 
at eight who never by any chance have 
breakfast till ten. As soon as I awoke I 
took the necessary steps. 

Clay [interrupting]. You slept? 

Pearl. Oh, yes. I slept beautifully. 
There's nothing like a little excitement to 
give me a good night. 

Clay. Well, you certainly had some 
excitement. 1 've rarely witnessed such a 
' terrific scene. 

Pearl. I sent out to the garage and gave 
instructions that the old Rolls-Royce was 
to be taken down at once, and the other 
was to go to London. 

Clay. What for? 

Pearl. Nevermind. You'll know pres- 
ently. Then I did a little telephoning. 

Clay. Why were you so anxious to pre- 
vent anybody from leaving the house? 

Pearl. I could n't have persuaded my- 
self that my party was a success if ball my 



guests had left me on Sunday morning. I 
thought they might change their minds by 
the afternoon. 

Clay. If that's your only reason I don't 
think it's a very good one. 

Pearl. It is n't. I will be frank with 
you, Thornton. I can imagine that a very 
amusing story might be made out of this 
episode. 1 never mind scandal, but I don't 
expose myself to ridicule if I can help it. - 

Clay. My dear Pearl, surely you can 
trust the discretion of your guests. Who 
do you think will give it away? 

Pearl. You. 

Clay. I? My dear Pearl, I give you my 
word of honour . . . 

Pearl [calmly]. My dear Thornton, I 
don't care twopence about your word of 
honour. You're a professional entertainer 
and you'll sacrifice everything to a good 
story. Why, don't you remember that 
killing story about your father's death? 
You dined out a whole season on it. 

Clay. Well, it was a perfectly killing 
story. No one would have enjoyed it more 
than my poor old father. 

Pearl. I'm not going to risk anything, 
Thornton. I think it's much bettw there 
should be no story to tell. 

Clay. No one can move the clock back- 
wards, Pearl. I could n't help thinking at 
luncheon that there were the elements ot a 
very good story indeed. 

Pearl. And you'll t«il it, Thornton. 
Then I shall say: my dear, does it sound 
probable? They all stayed quite happily 
till Monday morning; Sturrey and the 
Ariingtons dined on the Sunday night, and 
we had a very merry evening ; besides, I was 
lunching with Minnie only two days after- 
wards. And I shall say, poor Thornton, 
he is such a har, is n't he? 

Clay. I confess that if you are recon- 
ciled with Mianie it will take a great deal 
of the point away from my story. What 
about Arthur Fen wick? 

Pearl. He's a sensualist, and the sen- 
sual are always sentimental. 

C1.AY. He scared me dreadfully at lunch- 
eon. He was eatii^ a dressed crab, and his 
face grew every minute more purple. I 
was expecting him to have anapo[Jeetio fit. 



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Pearl. It's not an unpleasant death, 
you know, Thornton, to have a stroke 
while you're eating your favourite dish. 

Clay. You know, there are no excuses 
for you, Pearl. 

Pearl. Human nature excuses so much, 
Thornton. 

Clay. You really might have left Tony 
alone. This habit you have of snitching 
has got you into trouble before. 

Pearl. People are so selfish. It just 
happens that 1 find no man so desirable as 
one that a friend of mine is in love with, 
I make allowances for the idiosyncraeies of 
my friends. Why should n't they make 
allowances for mine? [The Duchessb 
COTnes in, erect and havghty, with the air of 
Boadicea facing the Roman lemons. Pearl 
turns to her lyiWt an ingratiating smik.] Ah, 
Minnie. 

Dtjchessb, I'm told the only way I can 
leave this house is by submitting to the 
odious necessity of seeing you. 

Pearl. I wish you would n't go, Minnie. 
Lord Sturrey is coming over to dinner to- 
night and so are the Ariingtons. I always 
take a lot of trouble to get tlie right people 
together and 1 hate it when anybody tails 
me at the last minute. 

DucHBSSE. D' you think anything 
would have induced me to stay so long if 
there'd been any possibility of getting 
away? 

Pearl. It would n't have been nice to 
go without saying good-bye to me. 

DucHESSE. Don't talk nonsense, Pearl. 

Pearl. D' you know that you behaved 
very badly last night, and I ought to be 
extremely angry with you. 

Duchessb. I? Thornton, the woman's 
as mad as a hatter. 

Pearl. You really ought n't to have 
made a scene before Harry Bleane. And, 
you know, to tell Arthur was n't playing 
the game. It you wanted to tell anyone, 
why did n't you tell Geoi^e? 

DucHESSE. In the first place he was n't 
there. He never is. 

Pearl. I know. He says that now soci- 
ety has taken to coming down to the coun- 
try tor week-ends he prefers London. 

~ ' "1 never forgive you. Nev- 



er! Neverl Never! You'dgot Arthur Fen- 
wick. Why were n't you satisfied with 
him? If you wanted to have an affair with 
anyone, why did n't you take Thornton? 
He's almost the only one of your friends 
with whom you have n't. The omission is 
becoming almost marked. 

Pearl. Thornton never makes love to 
me except when other people are looking. 
He can be very passionate in the front seat 
of my box at the opera. 

Clay. This conversation is growing ex- 
cessively personal. I '11 leave you. 

[He goes out.] 

Pearl. I'm sorry I had to insist on 
your seeing me, but I had something quite 
important to say to you. 

DucHESSE. Before you go any further, 
Pearl, I wish to tell you that I'm going to 
marry Tony. 

Pearl [aghast]. Oh, my dear, you're not 
doing it to spite me? You know, honestly, 
he does n't interest me in the slightest. 
Oh, Minnie, do think carefully. 

DuCHEssE. It's the only way I can keep 

Pearl. D' you think you'll be happy? 

DocHESSB. What should you care if I'm 
happy? 

Pearl. Of course I care. D' you think 
it's wise? You're giving yourself into his 
hands. Oh, my dear, how can you risk it? 

Duchessb. He said he was going out 
to the colonies. I love him. ... I believe 
you're really distressed. How strange you 
are, Pearl! Perhaps it's the best thing for 
me. He may settle down. I was very lonely 
sometimes, you know. Sometimes, when I 
had the blues, 1 almost wished I'd never 
left home. 

Pearl. And I've been moving heaven 
and earth to get him a job, I've been on 
the telephone this morning to all the cab- 
inet ministers I know, and at last I've 
done it. That's what I wanted to tell you. 
I thought you'd be so pleased. I suppose 
he won't want it. 

Duchessb. Oh, I'm sure he will. He's 
very proud, you know. That's one of the 
things 1 liked in him. He had to be de- 
pendent on me, and that's one of the 
reasons why he always wanted to marry me. 



, 90 b, Google 



OUR BETTERS 



83 



Pearl. Of course you'll keep yoiar title. 

DfTCHESSE. Oh, yes, I shall do that. 

Pearl [going toxcards her as if lo kiss her]. 
Well, darling, you have my very, very beat 
wishes. 

DocHBSSE [drawing back]. I'm not going 
to forgive you, Pearl, 

Pearl. But you've forgiven Tony, 

DucHBSSB. I don't blame him. He was 
led away. 

Pearl. Come, Minnie, don't be spiteful. 
You might let bygones be bygones. 

DuCKESSE. Nothing will induce me to 
Stay in this house anoUier night. 

Peahj_ It's a very slow train, and 
you'll have to go without your tea, 

DuCKEsse. I don't care. 

Pearl. You won't arrive in London till 
half-past eight and you'll have to dine in 
a restaurant. 

DucHESSE. I don't care. 

Pearl. You'Ubegrubbyandhot. Tony 
will be hungry and out of temper. And 
you'll look your age. 

D1JCHBS8E, You promised me the lug- 
gage cart. 

Pearl [with a sigh]. You shall have it; 
but you'll have to ait on the floor because 
it has n't got any seats. 

DucHBSsE. Pearl, it's not going to 
break down on the way to the station! 

Pearl. Oh, no, how can you suspect me 
of playing a triek tike that on you? , . . 
[With a tinge of regret.] It never occurred 
tome. 

[Tbor-vton Clay cornea in.] 

Clat. Pearl, I thought you'd like to 
know that Fenwick is coming to say good- 
bye to you. 

DdCHESsE, I'll go and tell Tony about 
the job you've got him. By the way, what 
is it? 

Pearl. Oh, it's something in the Edu- 
cational Office. 

DocHBSSE. How very nice. What do 
they do there? 

Pearl. Nothing. But it'll keep him 
busy from ten to four. [The Duchesse goes 
out.] She's going to marry him. 

Clay, I know. 

Pearl. I'm a wonderful matchmaker. 



First Bessie and Harry Bleane, and now 
Minnie and Tony Paxton. I shall have to 
find someone for you, Thornton. 

Clay. How on earth did you manage to 
appease her? 

Pearl. I reasoned with her. After all, 
she aliould be glad the boy has sown his 
wild oats before he marries, and besides, if 
he were her husband, of course she would 
n't expect fidelity from him; it seems un- 
naturid to expect it when he is n't. 

Clay. But she's going all the same. 

Pearl. I've got a quarter of an hour 
yet. Give me your handkerchief a minute, 
will you? 

Clay [haTuiing it to her]. You're not go- 
ing to burst into tears? 

Pearl, [She rubs her cheeks uidently.] I 
thought I ought to look a little wan and 
pale when Arthur comes in. 

Clay, You'll never love me, Pearl. You 
tell mc all your secrets. 

Peabl. Shall I tell you what to do about 
it? Take the advice I give to Americans 
who come over to London and want to 
see the Tower; say you've been and don't 
go- 

Clay. D' you think you can bring Ar- 
thur around? 

Pearl. I 'm sure I could if he loved me. 

Clay. My dear, he dotes on you. 

Peabl. Don't be a fool, Thornton. He 
loves his love for me. That's quit* a dif- 
ferent thing. I've only got Mie chance. He 
sees himself as the man of iron. I'm going 
to play the dear little thing racket. 

Clay. You're a most unscrupulous wo- 
man, Pearl, 

Pearl. No more than most. Hease go, 
I think he ought to find me alone. 

[Clay goes out. Pearl seals her- 
self in a pensive attitude and 
looks dovm reflectively at the car- 
pet; in her hand she holds de- 
jectedly an open volv,7ne of poetry. 
Presently Arthur Fenwick 

him. He is a strong man, bat- 
tered but not beaten, struggling 
with the emotion which he tries 



Fbwwick, Pearl. 



,90 b, Google 



CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Pbakl [wilh a jump]. Ob, you startled 
me. I did n't hear you come in. 

Fenwick. I daresay yon're surprised to 
see me, I thought it W8S necessary that we 
should have a short conversation before I 
left this house. 

Pearl [looking avfay]. I'm glad to see 
you once more. 

Fenwick. You understand that every- 
thing is over between us. 

Pearl. If you've made up your mind, 
there's nothing for me to say. I know that 
nothing can move you when you've once 
done that. 

Fenwick [draieing kimself up a lilUe], 
No. Thftthasalwas^beenpartofmypower. 

Pearl. I would n't have you otherwise. 

Fenwick. I don't want to part from 
you in anger. Pearl. Last night 1 could 
have thrashed you within an inch of your 
life. 

Peabl. Why did n't you? D' you think 
I'd have minded that from the man I 

Fenwick. You know I could never hit 

Pearl. I thought of you all through the 
long hours of the night, Arthur. 

Fenwick. I never slept a wink. 

Pearl. One would never think Jt, You 
must be made of iron. 

Fenwick. 1 think I am sometimes. 

Pearl. Am I very pale? 

Fenwick. A little. 

Pearl. I feci a perfect wreck. 

Fenwick, You must go and lie down. 
It's no good making yourself ill. 

Pearl. Oh, don't bother about me, 
Arthur. 

Fenwick. I've bothered about you so 
long. It's difficult for me to get out of the 
habit all at once. 

Pearl. Every word you say stabs me to 
the heart. 

Fenwick. I'!! get done quickly with 
what 1 had to teil you and then go. Of 
course I shall continue the allowance I've 
always made you. 

Pearl. Oh, I could n't take it! I 
could n't take it! 

Fenwick. You must be reasonable. 
Pearl. This is a matter of business. 



Pearl. It's a question I refuse to dis- 
cuss. Nothing would have induced me to 
accept your help if 1 had n't loved you. 
Now that there can be nothing more be- 
tween us — no, no, the thought outrages 

Fenwick. I was afraid that you'd take 
up that attitude. Remember that you've 
only got eight thousand a year of your own. 
You can't live on that. 

Pearl. I can starve. 

Fenwick. I must insist. Pearl, for my 
own sake. You've adopted a style of living 
which you would never have done if you 
had n't had me at the back of you. I'm 
morally responsible, and 1 must meet my 
obligations. 

Pearl. We can only he friends in future, 
Arthur. 

Fenwick. I have n't often asked you to 
do anything for me. Pearl. 

Pearl. I shall return your presents. 
Let me give you my pearl necklace at once. 

Fenwick. Girlie, you would n't do that! 

Pearl. [She pretends to try and take the 
necklace off.] I can't undo the clasp. 
Please help me. 

{She goes up to him and turns her 
back so that he may gel at it.] 

Fenwick. I won't! I won't! 

Pearl. I'll tear it off my neck! 

Fenwick. Pearl, you break my heart. 
Do you care for me so little that you can't 
bear to wear the trifling presents I gave 
you? 

Pearl. If you talk to me like that I shall 
cry. Don'tyousee that I'm trying to keep 
my self-control? 

Fenwick. This is dreadful. This is even 
more painful than I anticipated. 

■Pearl. You see, strength is easy to 
you. I'mweak. That's whyl putmyself in 
your hands. I felt your power instinctively. 

Fenwick. I know, I know, and it was 
because I felt you needed me that I loved 
you. I wanted to shelter you from the 
storms and buffets of the world. 

Pearl. Why did n't you save me from 
myself, Arthur? 

Fenwick. When 1 !ook at your poor 
pale little face I wonder what you'll do 
without me, girlie. 



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OUR BETTERS 



PeabIj [her voice breaking]. It'll be very 
hard. I've grown so used to depending on 
you. Whenever anything has gone wrong 
I've come to you and you've put it right. 
I waa beginning to think there was nothing 
you could n't do, 

Fenwick. I've always welcomed ob- 
Btaclea. I like something to surmount. It 



beside you. 

Fenwick, It was n't necessary that we 
should both be strong. I loved you be- 
cause you were weak. I liked you to come 
to me in all your troubles. It made me feel 
eo good to be able to put everything right 
for you. 

Pbahl. You've always been able to do 
the impossible. 

Fenwick [impressively]. I have never 
foimd anything impossible. 

Peari, [deeply moiled]. Except to forgive. 

Fenwick Ah I see you know me I 
never forget I never forgive 

Peabl. I suppose that s wh\ people 
feel there 'a something strangelj Napokonic 
about you. 

Fenwick Mavbe and jef — though 
you're only a woman you ve broken me 
Pearl, you've broken roe 

Pearl. Oh no don t saj that I could 
n't bear that I want j on to go on being 
strong and ruthless 

Fenwick Something has gone out of 
my life forever I almost think j ou ve 
broken my heart ' I was so proud of j ou 
I took so much pleasure in \ our success 
Why, whenever I saw your name m the 
society columns of the papers it used to 
give me a thrill jf sati^ifaction What « go 
ing to become of vou now girlie what s 
going to become of j ou now ? 

Peabl. I don't know. I don't care. 

Fenwick. This fellow, does he care for 
you? Will he make you happy? 

Peabl. Tony? He's going to marry the 
Duchesse. [Fenwick represses a start.] 
shall never see him again, 

Fenwick. Then if I leave you you' 
have nobody but your husband. 

Peabl. Nobody, 



1. 



ss 

Fenwick. You'll be terribly lonely, 
girlie. 

Peakl. You will think of me sometimes. 
Arthur, won't you? 

FeswicK. I shall never forget you, 
girlie. I shall never forget how you used to 
leave your 6iie house in Mayfair and come 
and lunch with me downtown. 

Peari.. You used to give me such de- 
licious things to eat. 

Fenwick, It was a treat to see you in 
your beautiful clothes sharing a steak with 
me and a bottle of beer. I can order a 
steak, Pearl, can't I? 

Pearl. And d' you remember those de- 
licious httie onions that we used to have? 
[She seemi to Umle them.] M...m...m... 
it makes my mouth water to think of 

Fenwick. There are very few women 
who finjoy food as much as you do, Pearl. 

Pe*rl. D' you know, next tJme you 

dined with me, I'd made up my mind 

to give you an entirely English dinner. 

Scotch broth, herrings, mixed grill, saddle 

of lamb, and thencnomwiM marrow bones. 

[Fenwick can hardly bear the 

thought, his Jace grows red, his 

eyes bvlge and he gasps.] 

FENWicK. Oh, girUe [with Jiiler abandon- 
ment]. Let's have that dinner. [He seizes 
her in his arms and kisses her.] I can't leave 
you. You need me too much. 

~ ,. Arthur, Arthur, can you forgive 



me? 



s human, i 



forgive 



Fenwick. 

Peabl. Oh, how like you that is. 

Fenwick. If you must deceive me don't 
let me ever find out, I love you too much. 

Peabl. I won't, Arthur. I promise you 
I won't. 

Fenwick. Come and sit on the sofa and 
!et me !ook at you. I seem to see you for 
the first time, 

Peabl. You know you would n't have 
liked the walk to the station. It's four 
miles in the sun. You're a vain old thing 
and your boots are always a little too 
small for you. [Bessie coTnes in. She stope 
as she sees PEJi.Bi,~and~F^TJWICK ettting 
hand in hand.] Are you going out, Beaaie? 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Bessie. As soon as Harry has finislieU 
his letters we're going for a walk. 

Pearl [to Fbntvick]. You must n't 
squeeze my hand in Bessie's presence, 
Arthur. 

Fenwick. You're a very lucky girl, 
Bessie, to have a sister like Pearl. She's 
the most wonderful woman in the world. 

Pearl. You're talkingnonsense, Arthur. 
Go and put some flannek on. It makes me 
quite hot to look at you in that suit. We'll 
try and get up a little tennis after tea. 

I^NWiCK. Now you must n't tire your- 
self. Pearl. Remember those white cheeks 
of yours. 

pE/im.[v>iik a charming look at kirn]. Oh, 
I shall soon get my colour back now. [Ske 
If pities him her hand to kiss and he goes out. 
"~ takes a little mirror out of her bag and 
herself Tefieclively.] Men are very 
foolish creatures. They have kind 
But their heads. Oh, dear, oh, 
dear, it's lamentable. They have a me- 
chanical intelligence. And they're so vain, 
poor dears, they 're so vain. 

Bessie. Pearl, to-morrow when we go 
back to London 1 'm going away. 

Pearl. Are you? Where? 

Bessie. The Princess is going to take 
me over to Paris for a few days. 

Peakl. Oh, is that all? Don't stay away 
too long. You ought to be in London just 
at present. 

Bessie. On my return I'm proposing to 
stay with the Princess. 

Pearl [calmly]. Nonsense. 

Bessie, I was n't asking your permis- 
sion, Pearl. I was telling you my plana. 

Peakl [looks at her for a moment reflec- 
tively]. Are you going to make me a scene, 
too? I've already gone through two this 
afternoon. I'm rather tired of them. 

Bessie. Please don't be alarmed. I've 
got nothing more to say. 

[She makes as though to leave the 

Pearl. Don't be a little fool, Bessie. 
You've been staying with me all the season. 
1 can't allow you to leave my house and go 
to live with Flora. We don't want to go 
out of our way to make people gossip. 

Bessie. Please don't argue with me. 



Pearl. It's not my business to reproach 
you for anything you do. But it is n't my 
business either to stand by and watch you. 

Peakl. You're no longer a child, Bessie. 

Bessie. I've been blind and foolish. 
Because I was happy and having a good 
time I never stopped to ask for explana- 
tions of this, that, and the other. I never 
thought , . . The life was gay and brilliant 

— it never struck me that underneath it all 

— oh, Pearl; don't make me say what I 
have in my heart, but let me go quietly. 

Pearl. Bessie, deafiyoumustbereason- 
able. Think what people would say if you 
suddenly left my house. They'd ask all 
sorts of questions and Heaven knows what 
explanations they'd invent. People are n't 
charitable, you know. I don't want to be 
hard on you, but I can't afford to let you 
do a thing like that. 

Bessie. Now that I know what I do I 
should never respect myself again if I 

Pearl. I don't know how you can be so 
unkind. 

Bessie. 1 don't want to be that, Pearl. 
But it's stronger than I am. I must go. 

Pearl [with emotion]. I'm so fond of 
you, BeE;;e. You don't know how much I 
want you with me. After all I've seen so 
little of you these last few years. It's been 
such a comfort to me to have you. You 
were so pretty and young and sweet, it was 
Uke a ray of April sunshine in the house. 

Bessie. I'mafraidyouthmk women are 

as trivial, foolish creatures as men, Pearl. 

[Pearl looks ttp and sees that 

Bessie is not in the least taken 

in by the pathetic attitude.] 

Pearl [idly]. Take care you don't go 
too far, Bessie. 

Bessie. There's no need for us to quar- 
rel, I've made up my mind and there Is 
the end of it, 

Pearl. Flora's a fool. I shall tell her 
that I won't have her take you away from 
me. You'll stay with me until you're mar- 

Bessie. D' you want me to teli you that 
I can hardly bear to speak to you? You 
fill me with shame and disgust. 1 want 
never to see you again. 



,, Ob, Google 



OUR BETTERS 



87 



Pearl. Really you drive me beyond 
endurance. I think I must be the most 
patient woman in the world to put up with 
bH I 've had to put up with to-day. After all, 
what have I done? I was a little silly and 
incautious. By the fuss you all make one 
would think no one had ever been incau- 
tious and silly before. Besides, it has n't 
got anything to do with you. Why don't 
you mind your own business? 

Bessie [bitteTly]. You talk as though 
your relations with Arthur Fenwick were 
perfectly natural. 

Peabl. Good Heavens, you 're not going 
to pretend you did n't know about Arthurl 
After al!, I'm no worse than anybody else. 
Why, one of the reasons we Americans like 
London is that we can live our own lives 
and people accept things philosophically. 
Eleo Gloster, Sadie Twickenham, Maimie 
Hartlepool ^ you don't imagine they're 
faithful to their husbands? They did n't 
marry them for that. 

Bessie, Oh, Pearl, how can you? How 
can you? Have n't you any sense of de- 
cency at all? When 1 came in just now and 
saw you sitting on the sofa with that gross, 
vulgar, sensual old man — oh 1 [She makes 
a^gestuTe of disgust.] You can't love him. 
I could have understood it — but — oh, 
it's so disgraceful, it's so hideous. What 
ca^ you see in him? He's nothing but 
rich — [She pauses and her face changes as 
a thought comes to her, and coming horrifies 
ker.] It's not because he's rich? Pearl! 
Oh! 

Pearl. Really, Bessie, you're very silly 
and I'm tired of talking to you. 

Bessie. Pearl, it's not that? Answer 



Peari. [Tou^hly]. Mind your 






Bessie. He was right, then, last night, 
when he called you that. He was so right 
that you did n't even notice it. A tew hours 
later you 're sittmg hand in hand with him. 
A slut. That's what he called you. A slut' 
A slut! 

Pearl. How dare you! Hold your 
tongue! How dare you! 

Bessie. A kept woman. That's what 



Peahl [recovering herself]. I'm a fool to 
lose my temper with you. 

Bessie. Why should you? I'm saying 
nothing but the truth. 

Pearl. You're a silly little person, 
Bessie. If Arthur helps me a little that's 
his affair and mine. He's got more money 
than he knows what to do with, and it 
amuses him to see me spend it. I could 
have twenty thousand a year from him if 
I chose. 

Bepsie. Have n't you got money of your 
own? 

Pearl. You know exactly what I've 
got. Eight thousand a year. D' you think 
I could have got the position I have on 
that? You're not under the impression all 
the world comes to iny house because of 
my charms, are you? I'm not. You don't 
think the English want us here? You don't 
think they hke us marrying their men? 
Good Heavens, when you've known Eng- 
land as long as I have you'll realize that in 
their heaila they still look upon us as sav- 
ages and Red Indians. We have to force 
ourselves upon them. They come to me 
because I amuse them. Very early ia my 
career I discovered that the English can 
never resist getting something for nothii^. 
If a dancer is the rage they'll see her at my 
house. If a fiddler is in vogue they'll hear 
him at iny concert. I give fashion. I've 
got power. I've got influence. But every- 
thing I've got, my success, my reputation, 
my notoriety, I've bought it, bought it, 
bought it! 

BESI51B. How humiliating. 

Pearl. And finally I've bought you a 
husband. 

Bessie. That's not true. He loves me. 

Pbabl. Do you think he would have 
loved you if I had n't shown you to him in 
these surroundings, if I had n't dazzled 
him by the brilliant people among whom he 
found you? You don't know what love is 
made ot. D' you think it's nothing that he 
should hear a Prime Minister pay you 
compliments? Ot course I bought him. 

Besbib [aghast]. It's horrible! 

Pearl. You know the truth now. It'll 
be very useful to you in your married life. 
Run away and take your littie walk with 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



/Harry Bleane. I'm going to arrange my 
/ face. [She goes oul.\ 

^ 'TBessie is lejl ashamed and stunned. 
Bleane cimies in.] 

Bleane. I'm afraid I've kept you wait- 
ing. I'm ao sorry. 

Bessie [duUy], It docs n't matter at all, 

Bleane. Where shall we go? You know 
the way about these parts and I don't. 

Bessie. Harry, I want you to release 
me. I can't marry you. 

Bleane [aghast]. Why? 

Bbssie. I want to go back to America. 
I'm frightened. 

Bleane, Of me? 

Bessie. Oh, no. 1 know that you're a 
dear, good creature. I'm frightened of 
what I may become. 

Bleane. But I love you, Bessie. 

Bessie. Then that's the more reason 
for me to go, I must tell you frankly, I'm 
not in love with you, 1 only like you. I 
would never have dreamt of marrying you 
if you had n't been who you are. I wanted 
to have a title. That's why Pearl married 
her husband and that's why the Duehesse 
married. Let me go, Harry. 

Bleane. I knew you did n't love me, 
but I thought you might come to in time. I 
thought if I tried I could make you love me. 

Bessie. You did n't know that I was 
nothing but a self-seeking, heartless snob. 

Bleane. I don't care what you say of 
yourself, I know that you can be nothing 
but what is true and charming. 

Bessie. After what you've seen last 
night? After what you know of this house ? 
Are n't you disgusted with all of us? 

Bleane. You can't think I could class 
yoti with the Duehesse and — [He stops.] 

Bessie. Pearl at my age was no different 
from what I am. It's the life. 

Bleane. But perhaps you won't want 
to lead it. The set you've been living in 
here is n't the only set in England. It 
makcsastir because it 'sin the public. Its 
doings are announced in the papers. But 
it is n't a very good set, and there are 
plenty of people who don't very much 
admire it. 

BE86IE. You must let me try and say 



what I have in my heart. And be patient 
with me. You think I can make myself at 
home in your life. I've had a hint of it, 
and now and then I 've had a glimpse of it 
through Pearl's laughter and the Duch- 
esse's sneers. It's a life of dignity, of re- 
sponsibilities and of public duty. 

Bleane [with a ruefid smUe], You make 
it very strenuous. 

Bessie. It comes naturally to the Eng- 
lish girls of your class. They've known it 
all their lives and they've been brought up 
to lead it. But we have n't. To us it's just 
tedious, and its dignity is irksome. We're 
bored and we fall back on the only thing 
that offers — pleasure. You've spoken to 
me about your house. It means everything 
to you because it's associated with your 
childhood and all your people before you. 
It could only mean something to me if I 
loved you. And I don't. 

Bleane. You 've made me so wretched, 
I don't know what to say to you. 

Bessie. If I make you wretched now, 
it's so that we may both be saved a great 
deal of unhappiness later on. I'm glad I 
don't care for you, for it would make it so 
much harder for me to go. And I've got to 
go. I can't marry you. 1 want to go home. 
If I ever marry I want to marry in my own 
country. That is my place. 

Blbane. Don't you think you could 
wait a little before you decide finally? 

Bessie. Don't put difficulties in my way. 
Don't you see that we 're not strong enough 
for the life over here? It goes to our head; 
we lose our bearings; we put away our own 
code and we can't adopt the code of the 
countrv we come to. We drift. There's 
do but to amuse ourselves 
ces. But in America we're 
safe. And perhaps America wants us. 
When we come over here we 're like soldiers 
deserting their country in time of war. 
Oh, I'm homesick for America! I didn't 
know how much it meant to me till now. 
Let me go back, Harry. 

Bleane. If you don't want to marry me, 
of course I'm not going to try and make 

Bessie. Don't be angry, and be my 
friend always. 



nothing for u; 



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OUR BETTERS 



Blganii. Always. 

Bessie. After all three montJis ago yoti 

did n't know me In three months more 

you will ha\e forgotten me Then marry 

Bome English (tiil who can live your life 

and share your thoughts And be happy. 

[Pearl cornea tn She has rouged her cheeks 

and has once more the healthy colour 

ivkich is -uaual with her. She is eiridentty 

jidiilant.] 

Pearl. The car has just come back from 
London. [Goes to French window and calls.] 
Minnie. 

Bessie, I shall tell Pearl to-morrow. 

Bleane. I won't post my letters then. 
I'll go and get them out of the box. 

Bessie. Foi^ive me. [He goes out.] 

IDucHEssE and Clay appear at the window.] 

DccHESSE. Did you call me? 

Peahl. The car has just come back from 
London so it can take you to the station. 

DucHESSE. That's a mercy. I didn't 
st all like the idea of going to tiie station 
in the luggage cart. Where is Flora? I 
must say good-bye to her. 

Pearl, Oh, there's plenty of time now. 
The car will run down in ten minutes. 



IToj 



in, then the Princess and 
Fleming.] 

DucBEsaB. Tony, the car has returned 
and is going to take us to the station. 

Tony. Thank God for that. I should 
have looked a perfect fool in that luggage 
cart. 

Clay, But what on earth did you send 
the oar to London for, anyway? 

Pearl. In one minute you'll see. 
(Fenwick crnnee in. He has changed into 



Fenwick. Whois that gentleman that's 
just arrived, Pearl? 

Pkarl. The man of mj^tery. 
[Pole cotnes in followed by Ernest, and 
after announcing him goes out.] 
Pole. Mr. Ernest. 
DncHESBG. Ernest! 
Clav. Emest? 

[He is a little dark man with large 
eyes and long hair neatly plas- 



tered down. He has the look of a 
hairdresser. He is dressed like a 
tailor's dummy, in black coat, 
■white gloves, silk hat, patent 
leather boots. He is a dancing 
master and overwhelmingly pen- 
tlemanly. He speaks in mincing 

Eknest. Dear Lady Grayston. 

Fkasl, [shaking hands with him]. I'm so 
glad you were able to come. [To iJie others.] 
You were talking about Ernest last night 
and I thought we would have nothing to 
do this evening and he would cheer and 
comfort us. I sent the car up to London 
with orders to bring him back dead or 

Ernest. My dear Lady Grayston, I'm 
sure I'll get into no end of trouble. I had 
all sorts of calls to pay this afternoon and 
I was dining out, and I 'd promised to go 
to a little hop that the dear Duchess of 
Gloster was giving. But I felt I could n't 
refuse you. You've always been such a 
good friend to me, dear Lady Grayston. 
You must excuse me coming in my town 
clothes, but your chauffeur said there 
was n't a moment to lose, so 1 came just as 
lam. 

Pearl. But you look a perfect picture. 

Ehnbst. Oh, don't sa>' tiat, dear Lady 
Gra3^ton. I know this is n't the sort of 
thing one ought to wear in the country. 

Pearl. You remember the Duehesse de 



Erxest, Oh, of course I remember the 
Duehesse. 

DucHESSE. Dear ErneKt, 

Ernest. Dear Duehesse. 

DncHESSE. I thought I was n't going to 
see you again, Ernest. 

Ernest. Oh, don't say that. It sounds 

Pearl. It's such a pity you must go, 
Minnie. Ernest would have shown you all 
sorts of new steps. 

Ernest. Oh, dear Duehesse, you're not 
going the very moment I i;ome down! This 
is unkind of you. 

DucHESSB [with an e^ort]. I must go. I 
must go. 

Ernest. Have you been practising th&t 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



little step 1 showed you the otier day? 
My dear friend the Marchioness of Twiek- 
efiham — not the old one, you know, the 
new one ■ — is beginning to do so well. 

DtrCHESSE [struggling with herself]. Have 
we time. Pearl? 1 should like Ernest to 
dance just one tango with me. 

Peael. Of course there's time. Thorn- 
ton, set the gramophone. 

[Thornton at once starts it and 
notes of the tango tinkle out.] 

DuCHESSB. You don't mind, Ernest, do 
you? 

Ernest. I love to dajice with you, 
Duchesse. [They take up their positions,] 

DuCHESSE. Just one moment. It always 
makes me so nervous to dance with you, 
Ernest. 

Ernest. Oh, now, don't be silly, dear 
Duchesse. [They begin to dance.] Now hold 
your shoulders like a lady. Arch your back, 
my dear, arch your badt. Don't look like 
8, sack of potatoes. If you put your foot 
there, I shall kick it. 

Ddchessb [pl/iintively]. Ernest! 

Ernest. Now don't cry. I'm saying all 
this for your good, you know. What's 
wrong with you is that you've got no 
passion. 

DtrcHBSSB. Oh, Ernest, how can you say 
auch a thing! I've alwaj^ looked upon my- 
self as a. very passionate woman. 

Ernest. I don't know anything about 
that, dear Duchesse, but you don't get 
it into your dancing. That's what I said 
the otlier day to the dear Marchioness 
of Twickenham — not the new one, you 
know, the old one; you must put passion 
into it, I said. That's what the tango 
wants, passion, passion. 



Duchesse. I see exactly what you mean, 
Ernest. 

Ernest. And you must dance with your 
eyes as well, you know. You must look as 
if you had a knife in your garter and as if 
you'd kill me if I looked at another woman. 
Don't you see how I'm looking? I'm look- 
ing as though I meant. Curse her, how I 
love her ! There ! 

[Miisic stops and they separate.] 

DucHESSB. I have improved, Ernest, 
have n't I ? 

Ernest. Yes, you've improved, dear 
Duchesse, but you want more practice. 

Pearl. Minnie, v/hy on earth don't you 
stay and Ernest will give you a real lesson 
this evening? 

Ernest. That's whai they want, Duch- 
esse. [DtrcHESSB wrestles leith her soul.] 

Duchesse. Tony, d' you think we can 
stop? 

Tony. I did n't want to go 'way. It's 
rotten goii^ up to town this evening. 
What on earth are we going to do with our- 
selves when we get there ? 

Duchesse. Very well, Pearl. If it'll 
please you, we'll stop. 

Pearl. That is nice of you, Minnie. 

Duchesse. You're very naughty some- 
times. Pearl, but you have a good heart, 
and I can't help being fond of you. 

Peabl [ujilft oufBlrefcfted OTOis]. Minniel 

DncHESSB. Pearl 1 

[They clasp one another and affec- 
tionateiy embrace.] 

Ernest. What an exquisite spectacle, 
two ladies of title kissing one another. 

Bessie [to Fleming]. They're notworth 
making a fuss about. I'm sailing for 
America next Saturday. 



cb, Google 



ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

A PLAY 
Bv JOHN DRINKWATER 



cb, Google 



cb, Google 



THE LORD CHARNWOOD 



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NOTE 

In using for purposes of drama a personality of so wide and recent a fame as that of 
Abraham Lincoln, I feci that one or two observations are due to my readers and critics, 

rirst, my pm'pose is that not of the historian but of the dramatist. The historical 
presentation of my hero has been, faithfully made in many volumes; notably, in England, 
by Lord Chamwood in a monograph that gives a masterly analysis of Lincoln's career 
and character and is, it seems to me, a model of what the historian's work should be. 
To this book I am gratefully indebted for the material of my play. But while I have, 
I hope, done nothing to traverse history, I have freely telescoped its events, and imposed 
inventioi! upon its movement, in such ways as I needed to shape the dramatic significance 
of my subject. I should add that the fictitious Burnet Hook is admitted to the historical 
company of Lincoln's Cabinet for the purpose of embodying certain forces that were 
antagonistic to the President. This was a dramatic necessity, and I chose rather to invent 
a idiaracter for the purpose than to invest any single known personage with siniater 
qualities about which there might be dispute. 

Secondly, my purpose is, again, that of the dramatist, not tiat of the political philoso- 
pher. The issue of secession was a very intricate one, upon which high and generous 
opimons may be in conflict, but that I may happen to have or lack personal sympathy 
with Lincoln's pohcy and judgment in this matter is nothing. My concern is with the 
profoimdly dramatic interest of his character, and with the inspiring example of a man 
who handled war nobly and with imagination. 

Finally, I am an Englishman, and not a citizen of the great country that gave Lincoln 
birth. I have, therefore, written as an Englishman, making no attempt to achieve a 
"local colour" of which I have no experience, or to speak in an idiom to which I have 
not been bred. To have done otherwise, as I am sure any American friends that this piay 
may have the good fortune to make will allow, would have been to treat a great subject 
with levity. 

J. D. 
Far Oahridge, 

Juty-August, 1918 



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CHARACTERS 

First and Second Chronic lee 

Scene I 
Mb. Stone, a farmer 
Mr. Cuffney, a store-keeper 
Susan, a servanl-maid 
Mrs. Lincoln ■ 
Abraham Lincoln 
William Tuckeb, a merchant 
Henry Hind, an attorney 
Elias Price, a lay preacher 
James Macintosh, edilnr of a Republican journal 

Scene II 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State 

Johnson White i representing Commissioners 

Caleb Jen-nings > of the Confederate States 

Hawkins, a clerk 

Lincoln 

John Hay, a Secretary 

Second Clerk 

A Messengbe 

Third Clerk 

Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury 

Montgomery Blair, Postmaster-General 

Simon Cameron 

Caleb Smith 

-r, TT f Cabinet Members 

Burnett Hook 

Gideon Welles 

Scene III 
Mrs. Lincoln 
Susan 

Mrs. Goliath Blow 
Mrs. Otherly 
Lincoln 
Mr, Wiluam Custis 



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CHARACTERS 

Scene IV 
William H. Sewaed 
Edwin M. Stanton 

MONTGOMEKY BlaIR 

Gideon Welles 
BuRNEiT Hook 
Salmon P. Chase 
A Clekk 

LlKCOI,N 

Hay 

Scene V 
General Grant 
Captain Malins 
Dennis, an orderly 
A Second Orderly 
Lincoln 
Hay 

A Young Officer 
William Scott 



General Meade 
Captain Sone 
Gener.*l Robert E. Lee 

Scene VI 
Lincoln 
Stanton 
Mrs. Lincoln 
Ladies and Gentlemen 
Officers 

John Wilkes Booth 
Susan 

ADOCTOB 



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ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



' Two CsHONiCLEHS \lbe two speaking to- 
gether]. Kinsmen, you shall behold 
Our stage, in mimic action, mould 
A man's character. 

This is the wonder, always, everywhere — 
Not that vast mutability which is event, 
The pits and pinnacles of change, 
But mac's desire and vaiianoe that range 
All circumstance, and come to port unspent. 

Agents are these events, these ecstasies, 
And tribulations, to prove the purities 
Or poor oblivions that are our being. When 
Beauty and peace possess us, they are none 
But as they touch the beauty and peace of 

Nor, when our days are done, 

And the last utterance of doom must fall, 

la the doom anything 

Memorable for its apparelling; 

The bearing of man facing it is all. 

So, kinsmen, we present 

This for no loud event 

That is but fugitive, 

But that you may behold 

Our mimic action mould 

The spirit of man immortally to live. 

First Chronicleb. Once when a peril 
touched the days 
Of freedom in our English ways, 
And none renowned in government 
Was equal found. 

Came to the steadfast heart of one. 
Who watched in lonely Huntingdon, 
A summons, and he went, 
And tyranny was bound, 
And Cromwell was the lord of his event. 

Second Chronicler. And in that land 
where voyaging 
The pi^m Mayflower came to rest, 
Among the chosen, counselling. 
Once, when bewilderment possessed 



A people, none there was might draw 
To fold the wandering thoughts of men. 
And make as one the najucs again 
Of liberty and law. 

And then, from fifty fameless years 
In quiet Illinois was sent 
A word that stJli the Atlantic hears, 
And Lincoln was the !ord of his event. 

[The two speaking together.] So the un- 
counted spirit wakes 
To the birth 

Of uncounted circumstance. 
And time in a generation makes 
Portents majestic a little story of earth 
To be remembered by chance 
At a fireside. 

But the ardours that they bear, 
The proud and invincible motions of char- 



Theac — these abide. 

Scene I. The parlour of Abraham Lin- 
coln's House at Springfield, lUinoie, early 
in 1860. Mr. Stone, a farmer, and Mr. 
Cdffney, a store-keeper, both men of be- 
tween fifty and sixty, are sitting before an 
early spring fire. It is dvik, but the curtains 
are not drawn. The men are smoking 
tilerUly. 

Mr. Stone l<^ler a pause]. Abraham. 
It 's a good name for a man to bear anyway. 

Mb. Cuffney. Yes. That's right. 

Mr. Stone [afla- another pause]. Abra- 
ham Lincoln. I've known him forty years. 
Never crooked once. Well. 

[He taps his pipe reffeelimly on the 

grate. There i« another pause,] 

[Sdsan, a servant-maid, comes in, and busies 

herself lighting candles and drawing the 

Susan. Mrs. Lincoln h.!is just come in. 
She says she'll be here dinjctly. 
Mb. Cuppnet. ^Thank you. 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Mk. Stone. Mr. Lbooln is n't home yet, 
I dare say? 

SosAN, No, Mr. Stone, He won't be 
long, with all the gentiemen coming. 

Mb. Sione. How wouid you like your 
master to be President of the United States, 
Susan? 

Susan, I'm sure he'd do it very nicely, 
air. 

Mr. Coffnet. He would have to leave 
Springfield, Susan, and go to live in Wash- 
ington. 

Susan. I dare say we should take to 
Washington very well, sir. 

Mr, Cuppney. Ah! I'm glad to hear 
that. 

Susan. Mrs. Lincoln's rather particular 
about the tobacco smoke. 

Mb. Stoni:, To be sure, yes, thank you, 

Susan, The master does n't smoke, you 
know. And Mra. Lincoln's specially par- 
ticular about this room. 

Mb. CoppNBr. Quite ao. That's very 
considerate of you, Susan. 

[They knock out their pipes.] 

Susan. Though some people might not 

hold with a gentleman not doing as he's a 

mind in his own house, as you might say. 

[She goes out.] 

Mb. Cdfpnet [after a further pause, strok- 
ing his pipe]. I suppose there 's no doubt 
about the message they'll bring? 

Mr. Stone. No, that's settled right 
enough. It'll be an invitation. That's as 
sure as John Brown 'a dead. 

Mr. Cuttney. I could never make 
Abraham out rightly about old John One 
could n't stomach slaving more than the 
other, yet Abraham did n't hold with the 
old chap standing up against it nith the 
sword. Bad philosophy, or somethma he 
called it. Talked about fanatics w ho do 
nothing but get themselves at a rope s end. 

Ma. Stoke. Abraham 's al! for the Con- 
stitution. He wants the Constitution to 
be an honest master. There 's nothing he 
waats like that, and he'll stand for that, 
firm as a Samson of the spirit, if he goes to 
Washington. He'd give his life to persuade 
the state against slaving, but until it is 
persuaded and makes its laws against it. 



he'll have nothing to do with violence in 
the name of laws that are n't made. That 's 
why old John's raiding affair stuck in his 

Mb. Cuffney. He was a brave man, 
going like that, with a few zealous like him- 
self, and a handful of niggers, to free 



Mh. Stone, He was. And those were 
brave words when they took him out to 
hang him. "I think, my friends, you are 
guilty of a great wrong against God and 
humanity. You may dispose of me very 
easily. I am nearly disposed of now. But 
this question is stii! to be settled — this 
negro question, I mean. The end of that is 
not yet." I was there that day. Stonewall 
Jackson was there. He turned away. There 
was a colonel there giving orders. When it 
was over, "So perish ail foea of the human 
race," he called out. But only those that 
were afraid of losing their slaves believed 

Mr. Cuppney [after a pause]. It was a 
bad thing to Lang a man like that. . . . 
There's a song that they've made about 
him. [He sings quietly.] 

John Brown's body lies a mould'ring in the 

But his soul goes marching on. . . . 
Mr. Stone. I know. 
[The two together {singing quietly).] The 
stars of heaven are looking kindly 

On the grave of old John Brown. . . . 
[ifter a moment Mrs. Lincoln comes in. 



Them 



■e.] 



Mrs. Lincoln. Good-evening, Mr. 
Stone. Good-evening, Mr. Cuffney. 

Mr. Stone and Mr, CurrNEY. Good- 
evening, ma'am. 

Mrs, Lincoln. Sit down, if you please. 
[They aU sit.] 

Mb. Stone. This is a great evening for 

Mrs. Lincoln. It is. 

Mb. Cuffnet. What time do you ex- 
pect the deputation, ma'am? 

Mrs. Lincoln, "rhey should be here at 
seven o'clock. [With an inquisitive nose.] 
Surely, Abraham has n't been smoking. 



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ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



99 



Mh. Stone [rising]. Shall I open the 
window, ma'am? It gets close of an eve- 
ning. 

Mrs. Lincoln. Naturally, in March. 
You may leave the window, Samuel Stone. 
We do not smoke in the parlour. 

Mr. Stone [resiiming kis seat]. By no 

Mrs. Lincoln;. I shall be obliged to 
yon. 

Mb. CurPNEY. Has Abraham decided 
what he will say to the invitation? 

Mrs. LiNCoiN. He will accept it. 

Mb, Stone. A very r^ht decision, if I 
may say so. 

Mbs. Lincoln. It is. 

Mb. Cuffney. And you, ma'am, have 
advised him that way, I'll be bound. 

Mrs. Lincoln. You said this was a great 
evening for me. It is, and I'll say more 
than I mostly do, because it is. I'm likely 
to go into history now with a great man. 
For I know better than any how great he 
is. I'm plain looking and I've a sharp 
toi^we, and I've a mind that does n't al- 
ways go in his easy, high way. And that 's 
what history will see, and it will laugh a 
little, and say, "Poor Abraham Lincoln." 
Th t all ght b t 



fcn V 



h Id g f ward, 



and wh □ h h uld h Id b 
wat h d and wthd ad hti've 
1 a t Am n a will p fit b Tl are 
w m n Ik h t 1 ts f th m B I'm 
lu ky Mj w k g ng f th than 11- 
hnois — it 8 gomg farther than anj of us 
can tell. 1 made things easy for him to 
think and think when we were poor, and 
now his thinking has brought him to this. 
They wanted to make him Governor of 
Oregon, and he would have gone and have 
come to nothing there. I stopped him. 
Now they're coming to ask him to be 
President, and I've told him to go. 

Me, Stone, If you please, ma'am, I 
should like to apologise for smoking in here. 

Mrs. Lincoln. That's no matter, 
Samuel Stone. Only, don't do it again. 

Mb. Cuffney. It 's a great place for a 
man to fill. Do you know how Seward 
takes Abraham's nomiuatioD by the Re- 
publicuis? 



Mrs. LincoLN. Seward is ambitious. 
He expected the nomination. Abraham 
will know how to use hiia. 

Mr. Stone. The split among the Demo- 
crats makes the election of the Republican 
choice a certainty, I suppose? 

Mrs. Lincoln. Abraham says so. 

Mb. Cuffnet. You know, it's bard to 
believe. When I think of the times I've 
sat in this room of an evening, and seen 
your husband come in, ma'am, with his 
battered hat nigh falling off the back of his 
head, and stuffed with papers that won't 
go into his pockets, and god-darning some 
rascal who'd done him about an assign- 
ment or a trespass, I can't think he's going 
up there into the eyes of the world. 

Mrs. Lincoln. I've tried for years to 
make him buy a new hat. 

Mb. Cpvfney. I hai'C a very large ae- 
lection juat in from New York. Perhaps 
Abraham might allow me to offer him one 
for hia departure. 

Mbs, Lincoln. He might. But he'll 
wear the old one. 

Mb. Stone. Slavers and the South. 
They're big things he'll have to deal with. 
"The end of that is not yet." That's what 
old John Brown said, '' the end of that is 

[Abraham Lincoln co-nies in, a greenish 
and crumpled top hat leaving kis fcrre- 
kead weU uncovered, kis wide pockets 
brimming over with documents. He is 
Jifty, and he still preserves kis dean- 
shamn slate. He kisses his wife and 
sftaftes kands tcii/i kis friends.] 
Lincoln. WeU, Maiy. How d' ye do, 
Samuel. How d'ye do, Timothy. 

Mb. Stone and Mr. Cuffnev. Good- 
evening, Abraham. 

Lincoln [lahile ke takes o§ his hal and 
shakes out sundry papers from the lining inio 
a draymr]. John Brown, did you say? Aye, 
John Brown. But that's not the way it's 
to be done. And you can't do the right 
thing the wrong way. That 's as bad as the 
wrong thing, if you're going to keep the 
state together. 

Mr. CuppNEY. Well, well be going. We 
only came in to give you good-faring, so to 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



say, in the great word you've got to speak 
this evening. 

Mr. Stone, It makes a humble body 
almost afraid of himself, Abraham, to 
know his friend is to be one of the great 
ones of the earth, with his yes and no 
law for these many, many thousands of 
folk. 

Lincoln. It makes a man humble to be 
chosen bo, Samuel. So humble that no man 
but would Bay "No" to such bidding if 
he dare. To be President of this people, 
and trouble gathering everywhere in men's 
hearts. That's a searching thing. Bit(«r- 
ness, and scorn, and wrestling often with 
men I shall despise, and perhaps nothing 
truly done at the end. But I must go. Yes. 
Thank you, Samuel; thank you, Timothy. 
Just a glass of that cordial, Mary, before 
they leave. [He goes to a cupboard.] May 
the devil smudge that girt I [Calling at the 
door.] SusanI Susan Deddingtonl there's 
that damstion cordial? 

Mrs. Lincoln. It's all right, Abraham 
1 told the girl to keep it out The cup- 
board 's choked with papers. 

Susan [comiTig in ikth botlle and gUisses] 
I'm sure I'm sorry. I was told — 

Lincoln. All right, all right, Susan Get 
along with you. 

Susan. "Thank you, air. [She goes ] 

Lincoln [pouring out drink] Poor hos 
pitality for whiskey-drinking rascals like 
yourselves. But the thought's good. 

Mr. Stone. Don't mention it, Abraham. 

Mb. Cdpfnbt. We wish you well, Abra- 
ham. Our compliments, ma'am. And God 
bless America! Samuel, I give you the 
United States, and Abraham Lincoln. 

[Mb, CnFFNEY and Mr. Stone 
drink.] 

Mas. Lincoln, Thank you. 

Lincoln, Samuel, Timothy — ■ I drink 
to the hope of honest friends, Mary, to 
friendship. I'll need that always, for I've 
a queer, anxious heart. And, God bless 
America! [He and Mrs. Lincoln drink.) 

Mb, Stone. Well, good-night, Abraham. 
Good-aigbt, ma'am. 

Mr, Cdffnbt, Good-night, good-night. 

Mrs. Lincoln. Good-night, Mr, Stone. 
Good-night, Mr. Cufiney. 



Lincoln. Good-night, Samuel. Good- 
night, Timothy. And thank you for coming. 
[Mr. Stone and Mr. Cuptney 
go out.) 
Mrs. Lincoln. You'd better see them 

Lincoln. Good. Five minutes to seven. 
You're sure about it, Mary? 

Maa. Lincoln, Yes. Are n't you? 

Lincoln. We mean to set bounds to 
slavery. The South will resist. They may 
tjy to break away from the Union. That 
cannot be allowed. If the Union is set aside 
America will crumble. The saving of it may 

Mrs. Lincoln. Who is to shape it all if 
you don't? 

Lincoln. There's nobody. I know it. 

Mrs. Lincoln. Then go. 

Lincoln. Go, 

Mrs. Lincoln [after a wumient]. This hat 
IS a disgrace to you, Abraham. You pay 
no heed to what 1 say, and you think it 
does n't matter, A man like you ought to 
think a little about gentility. 

Lincoln. To be sure. I forget. 

Mrs. Lincoln. You don't. You just 
don't heed. Samuel Stone 's been smoking 

Lincoln. He's a careless, poor fellow, 

Mrs. Lincoln. He is, and a fine example 
>ou set him. You don't care whether he 
makes my pailour smell poison or not. 

Lincoln. Of course 1 do — 

Mrs. Lincoln. You don't. Your head is 
too stuffed with things to think about my 
ways. I've got neighbours if you haven't, 

Lincoln, Well, now, your neighbours 
are mine, I suppose. 

Mrs. Lincoln. Then why won't you 
consider appearances a little? 

Lincoln. Certainly. I must. 

Mrs. Lincoln. Will you get a new hat? 

Lincoln. Yes, I must see about it. 

Mrs. Lincoln. When? 

Lincoln. In a day or two. Before long. 

Mrs. Lincoln. Abraham, I've got a 
better temper than anybody will ever 

Lincoln. You have, my dear. And you 
need it, I confess. [Susan comes in.] 

SoaiN. The gentlemen have come. 



cb, Google 



ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



Mjta. Lincoln. I'll come to them. 
Susan. Does the master want a hand- 
kerchief, ma'am? He didn't take one this 
morning. 
Lincoln. It's no matter now, Siiaan. 
Susan. If you please, I've brought you 
one, air. [She gives il (o him, and goes.] 

Mrs. Lincoln. I'll send them in. 
Abraham, I beheve in you. 
Lincoln. 1 know, I know. 

[Mrs. Lincoln goes out. Lincoln 
moves to a map of the United 
Slaies that is hanging on the wall, 
and stands silently looking at it. 
After a few moments Sdsan 

Susan. This way, please. 

[She shows in William Tuckeb, 
a florid, prosperous merchant; 
Henby Hind, on cdert little at- 
torney; Elias Price, a lean lay 
preacher; and James Macin- 
tosh, the editor of a Republican 
journal. Susan goes.} 
Tucker. Mr. Lincoln. Tucker my 
name is — William Tucker. [Be presents 
Am companions.] Mr. Henry Hind — fol- 
lows your profession, Mr. Lincoln. Leader 
of the bar in Ohio. Mr. Elias Price, of 
Pennsylvania, You've heard him preach, 
maybe. James Macintosh you know. I 
come from Chicago. 

Lincoln. Gentlemen, at your service. 
How d' 3^ do, James. Will you be seated? 
[They ait round the table.] 
TucKEK. I have the honour to be chair- 
man of this delegation. We are sent from 
Chicago by the Republican Convention, 
to enquire whether you will accept their 
invitation to become the Republican can- 
didate for the office of President of the 
United States. 

Price, TheConventionisaware, Mr. Lin- 
coln, that under the circumstances, seeing 
that the Democrats have split, this is more 
IJian an invitation to candidature. Their 
nominee is almost certain to be elected. 

Lincoln. Gentlemen, I am known to 
one of you only. Do you know my many 
disqualifications for this work? 

Hind. It'sonlyfairtosay thattbey have 
been discussed freely. 



Lincoln. There are some, shall we say 
graces, that I lack. W&shington does not 
altogether neglect these. 

Tucker. They have been spoken of. 
But these are days, Mr. Lincoln, if I may 
say so, too difhcult, tcio dangerous, for 
these to weigh at the expense of other 
quahtiea that you were considered to 

Lincoln. Seward and Hook have both 
had great experience. 

Macintosh. Hook had no strong sup- 
port. For Seward, there are doubts aa to 
his discretion. 

LiNCOUfl, Do not be under any mis- 
understanding, 1 beg you. I aim at mod- 
eration so far as it is honest. But I am 
a very stubborn man, gentlemen. If the 
South insists upon the extension of slavery, 
and claims the right to secede, as you know 
it very well may do, and the decision lies 
with me, it will mean resistance, inexorable, 
with blood if needs be. I would have every- 
body's mind clear aa to that. 

Price. It will be for jou to decide, and 
we believe you to be an upright man, Mr 
Lincoln. 

Lincoln, Seward and Hook would be 
difficult to carry as subordinates. 

Tucker. But they will have to be car- 
ried so, and there's none likelier for tie job 
than you. 

Lincoln, Will your Elepublican Press 
stand by me for a principle, James, what- 
ever comes? 

Macintosh, There's no other man we 
would follow so readily. 

Lincoln. If you send me, the South will 
have little but derision for your choice. 

Hind, We believe that you'll last out 
their laughter, 

Lincoln. I can take tiny man's ridicule 
— I'm trained to it b> a . . . somewhat 
odd figure that it pleased God to give me, 
if I may so far be pleasant with you. But 
this slavery business will be long, and deep, 
and bitter. I know it. [f you do me this 
honour, gentlemen, you must look to me 
for no compromise in this matter. Ifaboli- 
tion comes in due time by constitutional 
means, good. I want it. But,.while we will 
not force abolition, we will give slavery no 



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102 



CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



approval, and we will not allow it to ex- 
tend its boundaries by one yard. The de- 
termination is in my blood. When I was a 
boy I made a trip to New Orleans, and there 
I saw them, chained, beaten, kicked as a 
man would be ashamed to kick a thieving 
dog. And I saw a young girl driven up and 
down the room that the bidders might 
eatiafy themselves. And I said then, "If 
ever I get a chance to hit that thing, I 'II 
hit it hard." [A pause.] 

You have no conditions to make ? 

Tucker, None. 

LiNcoiiN [riaing], Mrs. Lincoln and I 
would wish you to take supper with us. 

Tucker. That's very kind, I'm sure. 
And your answer, Mr. Lincoln? 

Lincoln. When you came, you did not 
know me, Mr. Tucker. You may have 
something to say now not for my ears. 

Tucker. Nothing in the world, I assure — 

Lincoln. 1 will prepare Mrs, Lincoln. 
You will excuse me for no more than a 
miniite. \He goes out.] 

Tucker. Weil, we might have chosen a 
handsomer article, but I doubt whether we 
could have chosen a better. 

Hind. He would make a great judge — 
it you were n't prosecuting. 

Price. I'd tell most people, but I'd ask 
that man. 

Tucker. He has a't given ua yes or no 
yet. Why should he leave us like that, as 
though plain was n't plain? 

Hind. Perhaps he wanted a thought by 
himself first, 

Macintosh. It was n't that. But he was 
right. Abraham Lincoln sees deeper into 
men's hearts than most. He knows this day 
will be a memory to us all our lives. Under 
his eye, which of you could have given play 
to any untoward thought that had started 
in you against him since you came into tJiis 
room? But, leaving you, he knew you 
could test yourselves to your own ease, 
and speak the more confident for it, and, if 
you found yourselves clean of doubt, carry 
it all the happier in your minds after. Is 
there a doubt among us? 

Tucker. ) 

Hind. [No, none. 

PwcE. ' 



Macintosh. Then, Mr. Tucker, ask 
him again when he comes back. 
Tucker. I will. 

[They sit in silence for a moment.] 

[Lincoln comes in again, back lo his place 

at the table.] 

Lincoln. I would n't have you think it 

graceless of me to be slow in my answer. 

But once given, it's for the deep good or 

the deep ill of all this country. In the face 

of that a man may well ask himself twenty 

times, when he's twenty times sure. You 

make no qualification, anyone among you? 

TucKBK. None. The invitation is as I 

put it when we sat down. And I would add 

that we are, all of us, proud to bear it to a 

man as to whom we feel there is none so 

fitted to receive it. 

Lincoln. I thank you. I accept. [He 
rises, the others mth kim. He goes to the door 
and eails.] Susan. 

[There is silence. Susan cornea in.] 
Susan. Yes, Mr. Lincoln, 
Lincoln. Take these gentlemen to Mrs. 
Lincoln. I will follow at once. 

[The four men go mth Scsan. 
Lincoln stands silently for a 
moment. He goes again to the 
map and looks al it. He then 
turns to the table again, and 
kneels beside it, possessed and 
dehberale, burying hisjace in his 
hnnds.] 

THE CURTAIN PALLS 

The Two Chroniclebs. Lonely is the 

maa who understands. 
Lonely is vision that leads a man away 
From the pasture-lands, 
From the furrows of corn and the brown 

loads of hay, 
To the mountain-side. 
To the high places where contemplation 

All his ad ventu rings 

Among the sowers and the tillers on the wide 

Valleys to one fused experience, 

That shall control 

The courses of his soul. 

And give his hand 

Courage and continence. 



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ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



fied with the recognition of her authority, 
and, aa likely as not, be willing to give the 
lead to the other states in reconsidering 



The First Cheonicleh. Shall a man 
understand, 
He shall know bitterness because his kind, 
Being perplexed of mind, 
Hold issues even that are nothing mated. 
And he shall give 
Counsel out of his wisdom that none shall 

And steadtaat in vain persuasion must he 

And unabated 

Shall his temptation be. 

Second Chronicler. Coveting the lit- 
tle, the instant gain, 
The brief security, 
And easy-tongued renown, 
Many will mock the vision that his brain 
Builds to a far, unmeasured monument, 
And many bid his resolutions down 
To the wages of content. 

FiBST Chronicler. A year gora by. 
[The two together.] Here contemplate 
A heart, undaunted to possess 
Itself among the glooms of fate, 



Inv 



n and in loneliness. 



Scene II. Ten months later. Seittard^s 
room at Washington, William H. Seward, 
Secretary of State, is secUed at hie tobie with 
Johnson White and Caleb Jennings, 
representing the Commissioners of the Con- 
federate States. 

White. It's the common feeling in the 
South, Mr. Seward, that you're the one 
man at Washington to see this thing with 
large imagination. I say this with no dis- 
respect to the President. 

Seward. I appreciate your kindness, 
Mr, White. But the Union is the Union ^- 
you can't get over that. We are faced with 
a plain fact. Seven of the Southern States 
have already declared for secession. The 
President feels — ■ and I may say that I and 
my colleagues are with him — that to 
break up the country like that means the 
decline of America. 

Jennings. But everything might be 
done by compromise, Mr. Seward. With- 
draw your garrison from Fort Sumter, 
Beauregard will be instructed to take no 
further action, South Carolina will be satis- 



Seward. It is certainly a very attractive 
and, I conceive, a humaoe proposal. 

White. By furthering it you might be 
the saviour of the country from civil war, 
Mr. Seward. 

Sewahd. The President dwelt on his 
resolution to hold Fort Sumter in his in- 
augural address. It will be difficult to per- 
suade him to go back on that. He's firm in 
his decisions. 

White. There are people who would 
call him stubborn. Surely if it were put to 
him tactfully that so simple a course might 
avert incalculable disaster, no man would 
nurse his dignity to the point of not yield- 
ing. I speak plainly, but it's a time for 
plain speaking. Mr. Linc^oln is doubtless a 
man of remarkable qualities; on the two 
occasions when I have spoken to him I 
have not been unimpre^ised. That is so, 
Mr. Jennings? 

Jen'nings. Certainly. 

White. But what does his experience of 
great affairs of state amount to beside 
yours, Mr. Seward? He must know how 
much he depends on cei-tain members of 
his Cabinet, I might say upon a certain 
member, for advice. 

Sewaed. We have to move warily. 

Jennings. Naturaily. A man is sensi- 
tive, doubtless, in his first taste of office. 

Seward. My support of the President 
is, of course, unquestionable. 

White, Oh, entirely. But how can 
your support be more valuable than in 
lending him your unequalled understand- 
ing? 

Seward. The whole thing is coloured in 
his mind by the question of slavery. 

Jennings. Disabuse his mind. Slavery 
is nothing. Persuade him to withdraw 
from Fort Sumter, and slavery can be set- 
tled round a table. You know there's a 
considerable support even for abolition in 
the South itself. If the tiade has to be al- 
lowed in some districts, what is that com- 
pared to the disaster of civil war? 

White. We do not believe that the 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Southern States wish with any enthuaiasm 
to secede. They merely wish to establish 
their right to do so. Acknowledge that by 
evacuating Fort Sumter, and nothing will 
come of it but a perfectly proper conces- 
sion to an independence of spirit that Is 
not disloyal to the Union at heart. 

Sewaed. You understand, of course, 
that I can say nothing ofScially. 

Jennings. These are nothing but in- 
formal suggestions. 

Sewabd. But 1 may tell you that I am 
not unsympathetic. 

White. We were sure that that would 
be so. 

Seward. And my word is not without 
influence. 

Jennings. It can be used to bring you 
very great credit, Mr. Seward. 

Seward. In the mean time, you will say 
nothing of this interview, beyond making 
your reports, which should be confidential. 

White. You may rely upon us. 

Sew'abd [rising witk (he othern]. Then I 
will bid you good-morning. 

White. We are profoundly sensible of 
the magnanimous temper in which we are 
convinced you will conduct this grave 
business. Good-morning, Mr. Seward. 

Jennings. And I — 

[There is a knock at the door.] 

Seward. Yes — come in. 

{A Clerk comes in.] 

Clerk. The President is coming up the 
Btaiis, sir. 

Sewasd. Thank you. [THECia;BK3oe5.) 
This is unfortunate. Say nothing, and go 



[Lin 



bearded.] 



w whiskered and 



Lincoln. Good-morning, Mr. Seward, 
Good- morning, gentlemen. 

Seward. Good-morning, Mr. President, 
And 1 am obliged to you for calling, gen- 
tlemen. Good-morning. 

[He moves towards the door.] 

Lincoln. Perhaps these gentlemen 
could spare me t«n minutes, 

WeiTB, It might not — 

Lincoln. Say five minutes. 



Jennings. Perhaps you would — 

Lincoln. I am anxious always for any 
opportunity to exchange views with our 
friends of the South. Much enlightenment 
may be gained in five minutes. Be seated, 
I beg you — if Mr. Seward will allow us. 

Seward. By all means. Shall I leave 
you? 

Lincoln. Leave us — but why? 1 may 
want your support, Mr. Secretary, if we 
should not wholly agree. Be seated, gen- 
tlemen. [Sewsbd -places a chair for Lin- 
coln, and they sit at the table.] You have 
messages for us? 

White. Well, no, we can't say that. 

Lincoln. No messages? Perhaps I am 
inquisitive? 

Seward. These gentlemen are anxious 
to sound any moderating influences. 

Lincoln. I trust they bring moderating 
influences with them. You will find me a 
ready listener, gentlemen. 

Jennings. It's a delicate matter, Mr. 
Lincoln. Ours is just an informal visit. 

Lincoln. Quite, quite. But we shall 
lose nothing by knowing each other's 
minds. 

White. Shall we tell the President 
what we came to say, Mr. Seward? 

Lincoln. I shall be grateful. If I should 
fail to understand, Mr. Seward, no doubt, 
will enlighten me. 

Jennings. We thought it hardly worth 
while to trouble you at so early a stage. 

Lincoln. So early a stage of what? 

Jennings. I mean — 

Seward. These gentlemen, in a common 
anxiety for peace, were merely seeking the 
best channel through which suggestions 
could be made. 

Lincoln. To whom? 

Sbward. To the government. 

Lincoln. The head of the government 

White. But — 

Lincoln. Come, gentlemen. What is 
it? 

Jennings. It's this matter of Fort 
Sumter, Mr. President. If you withdraw 
your garrison from Fort Sumter it won't 
be looked upon as weakness in you. It 
will merely be looked upon a 



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ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



105 



to a raturaJ privilege We believe tliat the 

South at he doe n n se 

wants to es bU h h gh d d 
itself. 

LiNCMDLN. Th h wants h mp 

of national app a up n a y I 

White. u h n h p n 

There's no aw h S h g 

Lincoln. Law m m p n ^ 
White. The h k w 

Jennings, Mr. President, if I may say 
so, you don't quite understand. 

Lincoln. Does Mr. Seward understand? 

White. We believe so. 

LiNCOLK. You are wrong. He does n't 
understand, because you did n't mean him 
to. I don't blame you. You think you are 
acting for the best. You think you've got 
an honest case. But I'll put your case for 
you, and I'll put it naked. Many people in 
this country want abolition; many don't. 
I'll say nothing for the moment as to the 
rights and wrongs of it. But every man, 
whether he wants it or not, knows ft may 
come. Why does the South propose se- 
cession? Because it knows abolition may 
corae, and it wants to avoid it. It wants 
more:itwants the right to extend the slave 
foundation. We've all been to blame for 
slavery, but we in the North have been 
willing to mend our ways. You have not. 
80 you'll secede, and make your own laws. 
But you were n't prepared tor resistance; 
you don't want resistance. And you hope 
that if you can tide over the first crisis and 
make us give way, opinion will prevent us 
from opposing you with force again, and 
you '11 be able to get your own way about 
the slave business by threats. That's your 
case. You did n't say so to Mr. Seward, 
but it is. Now, I'll give you my answer. 
Gentlemen, it's no good hidii^ this thing 
in a corner. It's got to be settled. I said 
the otJier day that Fort Sumter would be 
held as long as we could hold it. 1 said it 
because I know exactly what it means. 
Why are you investing it7 Say, if you like, 
it's to establish your right of secession 
with no purpose of exercising it. Why do 
you want to establish that right? Because 



now we will allow no extension of slavery, 

d b use some day we may abolish it. 

1; an deny it; there's no other answer, 

Jennin . I see how it is. You may 
d m as much tis you like, but we 
are b re how we force slavery, 

Ln n It couldn't be put better, 
A J nn gs. That's what the Union 
m s a Union that stands for com- 

m gh That is its foundation — that 
IS wh IS for every honest man to pre- 
serv B clear about l;hia issue. If there 

is war, it will not be on the slave question. 
If the South is loyal to the Union, it can 
fight slave legislation by constitutional 
means, and win its way if it can. If it 
claims the right to secede, then to preserve 
this country from disruption, to maintain 
that right to which every state pieced 
itself when the Union wns won for us by 
our fathers, war may be the only way. We 
won't break up the Uniori, and you shan't. 
In your han<fe, and not in mine, is the 
momentous issue of civil war. You can 
have no conflict without yourselves being 
rs, I am loath to close. We 
lies, but friends. We must not 
be enemies. Though paiision may have 
strained, do not allow it to break our bonds 
of affection. That is our answer. Tell 
them that. Will you tell them that? 

White. You are determined? 

Lincoln. I beg you to tell them. 

Jennings, It shall be ajj you wish. 

Lincoln. Implore theni to order Beau- 
regard's return. You can telegraph it now, 
from here. Will you do thsit? 

White. If you wish it. 

Lincoln. Earnestly. Mr. Seward, will 
you please place a clerk id their service. 
Ask for an answer. 

[Seward Hngs a bell. A Clerk 

Seward, Give these gentlemen a pri- 
vate wire. Place yourself at their disptwal, 
Olbbk. Yes, sir. 

[WnrrE and Jenninob go out with 
the Clerk. For a moment Lin- 
coln and Sewaed are silent, 
Lincoln pacing the room, Sew- 
ard standing at :'.he table.] 
Lincoln. Seward, this won't da 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Seward. You don't suspect — 

Lincoln. I do not. But let us be plain. 
No man can aay haw wisely, but Provi- 
dence has broi^ht me to tlie leadership of 
this country, with a task before me g-eatet 
than that which rested on Washington 
himself. When 1 made my Cabinet, you 
were the first man I chose. I do not regret 
it. I think I never shall. But remember, 
faith earns faith. What is it? Why did n't 
those men come to see me? 

Sbwahd. They thought roy word might 
bear more weight with you than theira. 

Lincoln. Your word for what? 

Sewakd. Discretion about Fort Sumter, 

Lincoln. Discretion? 

Sbwabd. It's devaatatizig, this thought 
of war. 

Lincoln. It is. Do you think I'm less 
sensible of that than you? War should be 
impossible. But you can only make it im- 
possible by destroying its causes. Don't 
you see that to withdraw from Fort Sum- 
ter is to do nothing of the kind? If one half 
of this country claims the right to disown 
the Union, the claim in the eyes of every 
true guardian among us must be a cause 
for war, unless we hold the Union to be a 
false thing instead of the public consent to 
decent principles of life tiat it is. If we 
withdraw from Fort Sumter, we do nothing 
to destroy that cause. We can only destroy 
it by convincing them that secession is a 
betrayal of their trust. Please God we 
may do so. 

Seward. Has there, perhaps, been some 
timidity in making all this clear to the 
country? 

Lincoln. Timidity? And you were talk- 
ing of discretion. 

SewARD. I mean that perhaps our policy 
has not been sufficiently defined, 

Lincoln, And have you not concurred 
in all our decisions? Do not deceive your- 
self. You urge me to discretion in one 
breath and tax me with timidity in the 
next. While there was hope that they 
might call Beauregard back out ot their 
own good sense, I was determined to say 
nothing to inflame them. Do you call that 
timidity? Now their intention is clear, and 
you 've heard me speak this morning clearly 



also. And now you talk about discretion — 
you, who call what was discretion at the 
right time, timidity, now counsel timidity 
at the wrong time, and call it discretion. 
Seward, you may think I'm simple, but I 
can see your mind working as plainly as 
you might see the innards of a clock. You 
can bring great gifts to this government, 
with your zeal, and your administrative 
experience, and your love ot men. Don't 
spoil it by thinking I've got a dull brain, 

Sbwasb [slowly]. Yes, I see. I've not 
been thinking quite clearly about it all. 

Lincoln [taking a paper from his pocket]. 
Here's the paper you sent me, "Some 
Thoughts for the President's Considera- 
tion. Great Britain . . . Russia . . . Mex- 
ico .. . policy. Either the President must 
control this himself, or devolve it on some 
member of his Cabinet. It is not in my 
especial province, but I neither seek to 
evade nor assume responsibility." 

[There is a pause, the two men toofc- 
ing al each other witkotd speak- 
ing. Lincoln hands the paper to 
Sewabd, who holds it for a ina- 
menl, tears it up, and throws it 
into his basket.] 
Seward. I beg your pardon. 
Lincoln [iofcinjAis hand]. That's brave 

[John Hat, a Secretary, comes in.] 

Hay. There's a messenger from Major 
Anderson, sir. He's ridden straight from 
Fort Sumter, 

Lincoln. Take him to my room. No, 
bring him here. [Hay goes,] 

Seward. What does it mean? 

Lincoln. I don't like the sound of it. 
[He rings a bell. A Clerk comes in.] Are 
there any gentlemen of the Cabinet in the 
house? 

Clerk. Mr. Chase and Mr. Blair, I be- 

Lincoln. My compliments to them, 
and will they be prepared to see me here at 
once if necessary. Send the same message 
to any other ministers you can find. 

Clerk. Yes, sit. [He goes.] 

Lincoln. We may have to decide now 

— now. [Hat shows in a perspiring and 



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ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



107 



dust^overed Messenger, and retires.] From 
Major Anderson? 

The Messengbb. Yea, sir. Word of 
mouth, sir. 

Lincoln. Your eredentiala? 

The Messenger [giving Lincoln a 
paper]. Here, air. 

Lincoln [gtoTwins "i il\. Well? 

The Messenger. Major Anderson pre- 
sents his duty to the government. He can 
hold the Fort three days more without 
provisions and reinforcements. 

{Lincoln ringa the bell, and waits 
tintil a third Clerk comes in.] 

Lincoln. See if Mr. White and Mr. 
Jennings have had any ajiswerjret, Mr. — 
what's his name? 

Seward. Hawkins. 

Lincoln. Mr. Hawkins is attending to 
liiem. And ask Mr. Hay to come here. 

Clerk. Yes, air. 

[He goes. Lincoln sils at the table 
and writes. Hay comes in.] 

Lincoln [writing], Mr, Hay, do you 
know where General Scott is ? 

Hay. At headquarters, I think, sir, 

Lincoln. Take this to him yourself and 
bring an answer back. 

Hay, Yes, sir. 

[He (ofceB the note, and goes.] 

Lincoln. Are things very bad at the 
Fort? 

The Messenger. The major says three 
days, sir. Most ot us would have said 
twenty-four hours. [A knock at the door.] 

Seward. Yes. 

[Hawkins comes in.] 
Hawkins. Mr. White is just receiving a 
message across the wire, sir. 

Lincoln. Ask him to come here directly 
he's finished. 

Hawkins. Yes, sir. 

[He goes. Lincoln goes to a far 
door atid opens it. He speaks to 
the Messbnger.] 
Lincoln. Will you wait in here? 

[Tfte Messenger goes through.] 
Seward. Do you mind if I smoke? 
Lincoln. Not at alt, not at ail. [Seward 
lights a cigar.] Three days. If White's mes- 
sage does n't help us — three days. 



Seward. But surely wa must withdraw 
as a matter of military necessity now. 

Lincoln. Why does n t White come? 
(Seward goes to the windiiw and throws it 
up. He stands looking dmen into the street. 
Lincoln stands at the tabh looking fixedly 
at the door. After a moment or two there is 
a knock.] Come in. [Hawkins shxnas in 
White and Jennings, and goes out. Sew- 
ard closes the window.] Well? 

White. I'm sorry. They won't give 

Lincoln. You told them all I said? 

Jennings. Everything, 

Lincoln. It's critical. 

White. They are definite, 

[Lincoln paces once or twice up 
and down the room, standing 
again at his place at the table.] 

Lincoln, They leave no_ opening? 

White. I regret to say, none. 

Lincoln, It's a grave decision. Terribly 
grave. Thank you, gentlemen. Good- 
mom ing. 

White and Jennings. Good-morning, 
gentlemen. [They go out.] 

Lincoln. My God! Seward, we need 
great courage, great faith. [He rings the 
bell. The Second Clerk comes in.] Did 
you take my messages? 

The Clerk. Yes, sir. Mr. Chase and 
Mr. Blair are here. The other ministers are 
coming immediately. 

Lincoln. Ask them to come hereat once. 
And send Mr. Hay in directly he returns. 

The Clerk. Yes, sir. [He goes.] 

Iaincoi-n [after a pause]. "There is a tide 
in the affairs of men ..." Do you read 
Shakespeare, Seward? 

Seward. Shakespeare? No. 

Lincoln. Ah! [Salmon P, Chabe, Sec- 
retary of the Treasury, ard Montgomery 
Blair, Posim,asteT'Generol, come in.\ Good- 
moming, Mr. Chase, Mr. Blair. 

Seward. Good-morning, gentlemen. 

Blaie. Good-morning, Mr. President. 
How d' yc do, Mr. Seward . 

Chase. Good-morning, Mr, President. 
Something urgent? 

Lincoln, Let us be seated. [As they 
dram chairs up to the table, the other members 
of the Cabinet, Simon Camebon, Caleb 



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Smith, Burnett Hook, and Gideon 
Welles, come in. There is an exchange of 
greetings, whUe they arrange themselves round 
(Ae toWe.] Gentlemen, we meet in a crisis, 
the moat fateful, perhaps, that has ever 
faced any government in this country. It 
can be stated briefly. A message has just 
come from Anderson. He can hold Fort 
Sumter three days at most unless we send 
men and provisions. 

Cameron. How many men? 

Lincoln. I shall know from Scott in a 
few minutes how many are necessary. 

Welles. Suppose we have n't as many. 

Lincoln. Then it's a question of pro- 
visioning. We may not be able to do 
enough to be effective. The question is 
whether we shall do as much as we can. 

Hook. If we withdrew altogether, 
would n't it give the South a lead towards 
compromise, sA being an acknowledgment 
of their authority, while leaving us free to 
plead military necessity if we found public 
opinion dangerous? 

Lincoln. My mind is clear. To do less 
than we can do, whatever that may be, will 
be fundamentally to allow the South's 
claim to right ot secession. That is my 
opinion. If you evade the question now, 
you will have to answer it to-morrow. 

Blair. I agree with the President. 

Hook. We ought to defer action as long 
as possible. I consider that we should 
withdraw. 

Lincoln. Don't you see that to with- 
draw may postpone war, but that it will 
make it inevitable in the end? 

Smfth. It is inevitable it we resist. 

Lincoln. I fear it will be so. But in that 
ease we shall enter it with uncompromised 
principles. Mr. Chase? 

Chase. It is difficult. But, on the whole, 
my opinion is with yours, Mr. President. 

Lincoln, And you, Seward? 

Sewaro. I respect your opinion, but I 
must differ. [A knock at the door.] 

Lincoln. Come in. 

(Hay comes in. He gives a Utfer to Lincoln 

and goes.] 
{Reading.] Soott says twenty thousand 



Seward. We have n't ten thousand 

Lincoln. It remains a question of send- 
ing provisions. I charge you, all of you, to 
weigh tJiis thing with all your understand- 
ing. To temporise now, cannot, in my 
opinion, avert war. To speak plainly to the 
world in standing by our resolution to hold 
Port Sumter with all our means, and in a 
plain declaration that the Union must be 
preserved, will leave us with a clean cause, 
simply and loyally supported. I tremble at 
the thought of war. But we have in our 
hands a sacred trust. It is threatened. We 
have had no thought of aggression. Wehave 
been the aggressed. Persuasion has failed, 
and I conceive it to be our duty to resist. 
To withhold supplies from Anderson would 
be to deny that duty. Gentlemen, the mat- 
ter is before you. {A.-pav£e.\ For provision- 
ing the fort? [Lincoln, Chase, ami Blaib 
hM up tiieir hands.] For immediate with- 
drawal? [Seward, Cameron, Smith, Hook, 
and Welles hold up their haruk. There is 
a pause of sorm tnomenls.] Gentlemen I 
may have to take upon myself the respon- 
sibility of over-riding your vote It will be 
for me to satisfy Congress and public opin- 
ion. Should I receive any resignations' 
[There is sHeTice.] I thank you for vour 
consideration, gentlemen. That is all 
[They rise, and the Ministers, viitk the ca-- 
ception of Sbward, go out, talking as they 
pass beyond Ihe door.] You are wrong, Sen - 
ard, wrong. 

Seward. I believe you, I respect your 
judgment even as fax as that. But I must 
speak as I feel. 

Lincoln. May I speak to this man 

Seward. Certainly. 

[He goes out. Lincoln stands mo- 
tionless for a moment. Then he 
moves to a map of the United 
Stales, m-uch larger than the one 
in his Illinois home, and looks at 
it as he did there. He goes to the 
far door and opens it.] 
LiNcoiJJ. Will you come in? irAe Mes- 
8EN0ER comes.] Can you ride back to 
Major Anderson at once 7 
The Messenger. Yes, sir. 



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ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



Lincoln. Tell him that we cannot re 
inforce him immediately. We have n't the 

The Messenger. Yes, sir. 

Lincoln. Andaaythat the first convoy ot 
supplies will leave Washington this evening. 

The Messenger. Yes, air. 

Lincoln. Thank you. [The Messenger 
goes. Lincoln stands at the table for a mo- 
ment; he rings the bell. Hawkins comes in.] 
Mr. Hay, please. 

Hawkins. Yea, sir. 

[He goes, and a moment later Hat 
C4ymes in.] 

Lincoln. Go to General Scott, Ask 
him to come to me at once. 

Hay. Yes, air. [He goes.] 



The Two Ceroniclehs. You who have 
gone gathering 

Cornflowers and meadowsweet, 
Heard the hazels glancing down 

On September eves, 
Seen the homeward rooks on wing 

Over fields ot golden wheat. 
And the silver cups that crown 

Water-lily leaves; 

You who know the tenderness 

Of old men at eve-tide. 
Coming from the hedgerows, 

Coming from the ploi^h, 
And the wandering caress 

Of winds upon the woodside, 
When the crying yaffle goes 

Underneatii the bough; 

First Chronicler. You who mark the 
flowing 

Of sap upon the May-time, 
And the waters welling, 

From the watershed, 
You who count the growing 

Of harvest and hay-time, 
Knowing these the telling 

Ot your daily bread; 

Second Chronicler. You who cherish 

courtesy 
With your fellows at your gate. 



And about your hearthstone ait 

Under love's decrees, 
You who know that death will be 

Speaking with you soon or late, 
[The two together.] Kinsmen, what is mother 

Butthelight of these? 
Knowing these, what is there more 

For learning in your little years? 
Are not these all gospels bright 

Shining on your day? 
How then shall your hearts be sore 

With envy and her brood ot fears. 
How forget the words ot light 

From the mountain -way? . . . 
Blessed are the merciful. . . . 

Docs not every threshold seek 
Meadows and the flight of birds 



Blessed are the merciful. . . . 

Are we pilgrims yet to speak 
Out of Olivet the words 

Of knowledge and gooci-wiil? 



vo years of dark- 

but grows 

lore constant in 



First Ghbonicleb. T 
ness, and this man 

Greater in resolution, i 
compasaion. 

He goes 

The way of dominion 
hearted fashion 



ScBNE III Nearly iuo years later. A 
swioK reception room at the White Hvuse. 
Mrs, Lincoln, dressed in ifaskum perhaps 
a IMe too considered, despairing as she now 
does of any sartorial grace in her husband, 
and acutely conscioue that ihe must meet this 
necessity of <J^ce etlone, is writing. She rings 
the bell, and Susan, who has taken her pro- 
motion more philosophically, conies in. 

Mrs. Lincoln. Admii; any one who 
calls, Susan. And enquire whether the 
President will be in to tea, 

Susan. Mr. Lincoln ha.'j just sent word 
that he will be in, 

Mrs. LiNCOLJf. Very well. iSuSAN is 
going,] Susan. 

ScSAN. Yea, ma'am. 

Mrs. Lincoln. You still say Mr. Lin- 
coln. You should say the President. 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Sdban. Yes, ma'am. But you see, 
ma'am, it's difficult after calling him Mr. 
Lincoln for fifteen years. 

Mks. Lincoln. But you must remember. 
Everybody calls him the President now. 

SnsAN. No, ma'am. There's a good 
many people call him Father Abraham now. 
And there 'a some that like him even better 
than that. Only to-day Mr, Coldpenny, at 
the stores, said, "Well, Susan, and how's 
old Abe this morning?" 

Mrs. Lincoln. I hope you don't en- 
courage them, 

Susan. Oh, no, ma'am. I always refer to 
him as Mr. Lincoln. 

Mrs. Lincoln. Yes, but you must say 
the President 

Susan. I 'm afraid 1 shan't ever learn, 
ma'am. 

Mfifi. Lincoln. You must try. 

Susan. Yes, of course, ma'am. 

Mrs. Lincoln. And bringany visitors up. 

Susan, Yes, ma'am. There's a lady 
waiting now. 

Mrs. Lincoln. Then why did n't you 
say BO? 

Susan. That's what 1 was going to, 
ma'am, when you began to talk about 
Mr. — I mean the President, ma'am. 

Mrs. Lincoln. Well, show her up. 

[Susan ijoes, Mrs. Lincoln rfoses 
her writing desk. SxSBAH returns, 
showing in Mrs. Goliath 

Susan. Mrs. Goliath Blow. [She goes.] 

Mrs, Blow. Good-afternoon, Mrs. 
Lincoln. 

Mrs. Lincoln. Good-afternoon, Mrs. 
Blow, Sit down, please. [They sit.] 

Mrs. Blow. And is the dear President 
well? 

Mrs. Lincoln. Yea. He's rather tired. 

Mrs. Blow. Of course, to be sure. This 
dreadful war. But I hope he is not getting 
tired of the war. 

Mrs. Lincoln. It's a constant anxiety 
for him. He feels his responsibility very 
deeply. 

Mt^. Blow. To be siu'e. But you 
must n't let him get war-weary. These 
monsters in the South have got to be 
stamped out. 



Mrs. Lincoln. I don't think you need 
be afraid of the President's firmness, 

Mrs. Blow. Oh, of course not. I was 
only saying to Goliath yesterday, "The 
President will never give way till he has the 
South squealing," and Goliath agreed. 



Susan. Mrs. Otherly, ma'am. 

Mrs. Lincoln. Show Mrs. Otherly in. 
[Susan goes.) 

Mrs. Blow. Oh, that dreadful womaiil 
1 believe she wants the war to stop. 

Susan [at the door.] Mrs. Otherly. 

[Mrs. Otherly comes in and 
Susan goes,] 

Mrs. Lincoln. Good-afternoon, Mrs, 
Otherly. You know Mrs. Goliath Blow? 

Mrs. Otherly. Yes. Good-afternoon, 
[She st(a.] 

Mrs. Blow. Goliath says the war will 
go on for another three years at least. 

Mrs. Otherly. Three years? That 
would be terrible, would n't it? 

Mrs. Blow. We must be prepared to 
maie sacrifices. 

Mrs. Otherly. Yes. 

Mrs. Blow. It makes my blood boil to 
think of those people. 

Mrs. Otserly. I used to know a lot of 
them. Some of them were very kind and 

Mrs, Blow. That was just their cun- 
ning, depend on it. I'm afraid there's a 
good deal of disloyalty among us. Shall we 
see the dear President this afternoon, Mrs. 
Lincoln? 

Mrs. Lincoln. He will be here directly, 
1 think. 

Mils. Blow. You're looking wonder- 
fully well, with all the hard work that you 
have to do. I've really had to drop some 
of mine. And with expenses going up, it's 
all very lowerii^, don't you think? Goliath 
and I have had to reduce several of our 
sulfficriptions. But, of course, we all have 
to deny ourselves something. Ah, good- 
afternoon, dear Mr. President. 

Ladibb rise and 



[Lincoln comes in. The : 

shake hands vfUh him.] 
Lincoln. Good-aftemoon, ladies. 



Hostecb, Google 



ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



Mrs. Othebly. Good-atternooii, Mr. 
President. [They all sit.] 

Mrs. Blow. And is there any startling 
news, Mr. President? 

LincojjN, Madam, every morning when 
I wake up, and say to myself, a hundred, or 
two hundred, or a thousaJid of my country- 
men will be killed to-day, I find it startling. 

Mrs. Blow, Oh, yes, of course, to be 
sure. But I mean, is there any good news? 

Lincoln, Yes, There is news of s. vic- 
tory. They lost twenty-aeven hundred 
men — we lost eight hundred. 

Mrs, Blow, How splendid! 

Lincoln, Thirty-five hundred, 

Mrs. Blow, Oh, but you must n't talk 
like that, Mr, President, There were only 
eight hundred that mattered, 

Lincoln. The world is larger than your 
heart, madam. 

Mrs. Blow. Now the dear President is 
becoming whimsical, Mrs. Lincoln. 



goes.] 

Mrs. Othehly, Mr. President. 

Lincoln. Yes, ma'am, 

Mrs. Othbely. I don't like to impose 
upon your hospitality, I know how diffi- 
cult everything is for you. But one has to 
take one's opportunities. May 1 ask you a 
question? 

LiNCOLN. Certainly, ma'am. 

Mas. Othbrly. Is n't it possible for you 
tostop this war? la the name of a suffering 
country, I ask you that. 

Mas. Blow, I'm sure such a question 
would never have entered my head, 

Lincoln. It is a perfectly right question. 
Ma'am, I have but one thought always — 
how can this thing be stopped? But we 
must ensure the integrity of the Union. In 
two years war has become an hourly bitter- 
ness to me, I believe I suffer no less than 
any man. But it must be endured. The 
cause was a right one two years ago. It is 
unchanged, 

Mrs. Oteerly. I know you are noble 
and generous. But I believe that war must 
be wrong under any pjicuQjstaDces, for any 



III 

Mrs. Blow, I'm afraid tie President 
would have but little en -jouragement if he 
listened often to this kind of talk. 

Lincoln, I beg you not to harass your- 
self, madam. Ma'am, I too believe war to 
be wrong. It is the weakness and the jeal- 
ousy and the tolly of men that make a thing 
so wrong possible. But we are all weak, 
and jealous, and foolish. That's how the 
world is, ma'am, and we cannot out- 
strip the world. Some (f the worst of us 
are sullen, aggressive still — just clumsy, 
greedy pirates. Some of us have grown out 
of that. But the best of \is have an instinct 
to resist aggression if it won't listen to per- 
suasion. You may say it's a wrong in- 
stinct. I don't know. But it's there, and 
it's there in millions of good men, I don't 
believe it's a wroi^ instinct. I believe that 
the world must come to wisdom slowly. It 
is for us who hate a^rtssion to persuade 
men always and earnestly against it, and 
hope that, little by little, they will hear us. 
But in the mean time there will come mo- 
ments when the aggressors will force the 
instinct to resistance to act. Then we 
must act earnestly, prajing always in our 
courage that never again will this thing 
happen. And then we must turn again, 
and again, and again to persuasion. This 
appeal to force is the raisdeed of an im- 
perfect world. But we sire imperfect. We 
must strive to purify the world, but we 
must not think ourselv<S pure above the 
world. When 1 had this thing to decide, it 
would have been eaay to say, "No, I will 
have none of it; it is evil, and I will not 
touch, it." But that would have decided 
nothing, and I saw what I believed to be 
the truth as I now put it to you, ma'am. 
It's a forlorn thing for any man to have 
this responsibility in his. heart. I may see 
wrongly, but that's how I see, 

Mrs, Blow. I quite agree with you, Mr. 
President, These brutes in the South must 
be taught, though I doubt whether you 
can teach them anything except by de- 
stroying them. That's what Goliath says, 

Lincoln. Goliath mi:st be getting quite 
an old man. 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Lincoln. Really, now? Perhaps I 
might be bMb to get him a commission. 

Mrs. Blow. Oh, no. Goliath could n't 
be spared. He's doing contracts for the 
govermnent, you know. Goliath could n't 
possibly go. I'm sure he will be very 
pleaeed when I tell him what you say 
about these people who want to stop the 
war, Mr. President. I hope Mrs, Otherly 
ia satisfied. Ot course, we could all com- 
plain. We all have to make sacrifices, as I 
told Mrs, Otherly, 

Mks. Otherly. Thank you, Mr. Presi- 
dent, for what you've said. I must try to 
think about it. But I always believed war 
to be wrong. I did n't want my boy to go, 
because I believed it to be wrong. But he 
would. That came to me last week, 

■ [She haruls a paper to Lincoln.) 

Lincoln [looks at it, rises, and hands it 
back to her]. Ma'am, there are times when 
no man may speak. I grieve for you, I 
grieve for you. 

Mrs. Otherly [mirtj]. I think I will go. 
You don't mind my saying what I did? 

Lincoln, We are all poor creatures, 
ma'am. Think kindly of me. [He takes her 
hand.] Mary. 

IMrs. Lincoln goes out leith Mna. 
Otherly. I 

Mrs. Blow. Of course it's very sad for 
her, poor woman. But she makes her 
trouble worse by these perverted \ lews 
does n't she? And, I hope you will show 
no signs of weakening, Mr. President till 
it has been made impossible for (hose 
shameful rebels to hold up their heads 
again. Goliath says you ought to make a 
proclamation that no mercy will be shown 
to them afterwards. I'm sure I shall never 
speak to one of them again. [Rising.] Weil, 
I must be going. I'li see Mrs. Lincoln as 
I go out. Good-afternoon, Mr. President. 
[She turns at the door, and cgers 
Lincoln her hand, which he does 
not take.] 

Lincoln. Good-afternoon, madam. And 
I'd like to ofler ye a word of advice. That 
poor mother told me what she thought. I 
don't agree witli her, but I honour her. 
She's wrong, but She is noble. You've told 
me what you think. I don't agree wiltLyou, 



and I'm ashamed of you and your like. 
You, who have sacrificed nothing, babble 
about destroying the South while other 
people conquer it. I accepted this war with 
a sick heart, and I've a heart that's near 
to breaking every day. I accepted it in the 
name of humanity, and just and merciful 
dealing, and the hope of love and charity 
on earth. And you come to me, talking of 
revenge and destruction, and maUce, and 
enduring hate. These gentle people are 
mistaken, but they are mistaken cleanly, 
and in a great name. It is you that dis- 
honour the cause for which we stand — it 
is you who would make it a mean and little 
thing. Good-afternoon. [He opens Ihe door 
and Mrs, Bhow, finding words inadequate, 
goes. Lincoln moves across the room and 
rings a bell. After a moment, Susan comes 
in.] Susan, if that lady comes here again 
she may meet with an accident. 

Susan. Yea, sir. Is that all, sir? 

Lincoln. No, sir, it is not all, sir. I 
don't like this coat. I am going to change 
it. I stall be back ia a minute or two, and 
if a gentleman named Mr. William Custis 
calls, ask him to wait in here. 

[He goes out. Sv&an collects the tea- 
cups. As she is going to Ihe door, 
a quiet, gram while-haired Tiegro 
appears facing her. Susan storia 
iii{^ntly.] 

The Nboro [he talks slowly and very 
quietly]. It is all right. 

Susan. And who in the name of night 
might you be? 

The Negro. Mista William Custis. 
Mr. Lincoln tell me to come here. Nobody 
stop me, BO I come to look for him. 

SirsAN. Are you Mr. William Custis? 

Chbtis. Yes. 

Susan. Mr. Lincoln will be here directly. 
He 's gone to change his coat. You'd better 
sit down. 

Custis. Yes. [He does so, looking about 
him with a certain pathetic inquisitiveness.] 
Miata Lincoln hve here. You his servant? 
A very fine thing for young girl to be serv- 
ant to Mista Lincoln. 

Susan, Well, we get on very well together. 

Cbbtis. a very bad ^hing to be alav? io 
South. 



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ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



"3 



Susan. Look here, you Mr. Custis, don't 
you go mixing me up with slaves. 

CusTis. No, you not slave. You servant, 
but you free body. That vety mighty 
thing. A poor servant, born free. 

SosAN. Yes, but look here, are you pity- 
ing me, with your poor servant? 

Custis. Pity? No, I tiink you very 
mighty. 

Susan. Well, I don't know so much 
about mighty. But I expect you're right. 
It is n't every one that rises to the White 
House. 

Custis. It cot every one that is free 
body. That is why you mighty. 

Susan. I 've never thought much about 
it. 

Custis. I think always about it. 

Susan. I suppose you're free, aren't 
you? 

Custis. Yes, Not born free. I was 
beaten when I a little nigger. I saw my 
motier — - 1 will not remember what I saw. 

Susan. I'm sorry, Mr. Custis. That 
was wrong. 

Custis. Yes. Wrong, 

Susan. Are all nig — I mean are all 
black gentlemen like you? 

Custis. No, 1 have advantages. They 
not many have advantages. 

Susan. No, I suppose not. Here's Mr. 

Lincoln coming. [Lincoln, coaied after his 

heart's desire, comes (o the door. Custis 

rises.) This is the gentleman you said, sir. 

[She goes out mlh the tray.] 

Lincoln. Mr. Custis, I'm very glad to 
see you. 

[He offers his hand. Custis takes 
it, and ia <Aout to kiss it. Lin- 
coln stops him genUy.[ 
[Sitting.] Sit down, will you? 

CosTis [slill standing, keeping his hal i 
his hand]. It very kind of Mista Lincoln 



etoc 



e tof 






Lincoln, I was afraid you might refuse, 

Custis. Alittleshy? Yes, Butsomuch 
to ask. Glad to come, 

Lincoln. Please sit down. 

Custis. Polite? 

Lincoln. Please, I can't sit myself, 
you see, if you don't. 

CuBTis. Black, black. White, white. 



Lincoln. Nonsense, Just two old men, 
' sitting together [Custis sits to Lincoln's 
gesture] — and talking. 

Custis. 1 think I older man than Mista 
Lincoln. 

Lincoln. Yes, I expect you are. I'm 
fifty- four. 

Custis, I seventy-two, 

Lincoln. I hope I shall look as young 
when I'm seventy-two, 

Custis. Cold water. Much walk. Be- 
lieve in Lord Jesus Christ. Have always 
little herbs leamt when a little nigger. 
Mista Lincoln try. Very good. 

[He hands a small tudst of paper to 
Lincoln.] 

Lincoln. Now, that's uncommon kind 
of you. Thank yot:. I've heard much 
about your preaching, Mr. Custis, 

Custis. Yes. 

Lincoln. I should hkc to hear you. 

Custis. Mista Lincoln great friend of 
my people. 

Lincoln. I have come at length to a de- 

CusTis. A decision? 

LINCOLN. Slavery is going. We have 
been resolved always to <!oiifine it. Now it 
shall be abolished, 

Custis. You sure? 

Lincoln. Sure. 

tCusTis slowly stands up, bows hie 
head, and sits a^in.] 

Cl'stis. My people much to team. 
Years, and years, and years. Ignorant, 
frightened, suspicious people. It will be 
difEcult, very slow. [With growing paasinn.] 
But born free bodies. Free. I bora slave, 
Mista Lincoln, No man understand who 
not born slave. 

Lincoln. Yes, yes. I understand. 

Custis [with his normal regulaTity.] I 
think so. Yes. 

Lincoln. I should like you to ask me 
any question you wish. 

Custis. I have some complaint. Per- 
haps I not understand. 

Lincoln. Tell me. 

Custis. Southern soldiers take some 
black men prisoner. Black men in your 
uniform. Take them prisoner. Then mur- 
der them. 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Lincoln. I know. 

Ctjstis, What you do? 

Lincoln. We have sent a protest. 

CosTis. No good. Must do more. 

Lincoln. What more can we do? 

Cttstis. You kaow. 

Lincoln. Yes; but don't tuak me for 
reprisals. 

Ctjstis [gkaming]. Eye for an eye, tooth 
for a tooth. 

Lincoln. No. no. You must think. 
Think what you are saying. 

Cttstis. I think of murdered black men. 

Lincoln. You would not ask me to 
murder? 

Cdstis. Punish — not murder. 

Lincoln. Yes, murder. How can I kill 
men in cold blood for what has been done 
by others? Think what would follow. It is 
for us to set a great example, not to follow 
a wicked one. You do beUeve that, don't 
you? 

CcrsTis [qfter a pause]. I know. Yes. Let 
your tight so shine before men. I trust 
Mista Lincoln. Will trust. I was wrong. 
I was too sorry for my people. 

Lincoln. Will you remember this? For 
more than two years I have thought of you 
every day. I have grown a weary man with 
thinking. But I shall not forget. I promise 

CusTis. You great, kind friend. I will 
love you. [A knock at the door.] 

Lincoln. Yes. 



[So. 



n.] 



SuBAN. An officer gentleman. He says 
it's very important. 

LiNCOLH. I'll come. [He and CvnTis rise.] 
Wait, will you, Mr. Custis? I want to ask 
you some questions. 

[He goes out. It is gelling dark, and 

Susan lights a lamp and drawe 

the curtains. Cpbtis stands by 

the dot/r looking <^ler Lincoln.] 

Custis. He very good man. 

Sbsan. You've found that out, have 

you? 

Ctjstis. Do you love him, you white 
girl? • 
Stjban. Of course I do. 
Ctistis. YeSj you must. 



Susan. He's a real white man. No of- 
fence, of course. 

Ctjaris. Not offend. He talk to me as if 
black no difference. 

Susan. But I tell you what, Mr. Custis. 

He'll kill himself over this war, his heart's 

that kind — like a shorn lamb, as they say. 

Custis. Very unhappy war. 

SuaAN. But I suppose he's right. It's 

got to go on till it's settled. 

[In Ihe street below a body of people 
is heard approaching, singing 
"John Brown's Body," Cusma 
and Susan stand listening, 
Susan joining in the song as it 
passes and fades aivay.] 



FiHST Chkoniclbh. Unchanged our 
time. And further yet 
In loneliness must be the way. 
And difficult and deep the debt 
Of constancy to pay. 

Second Chronicler. And one denies, 
and one forsakes. 
And still unquestioning he goes. 
Who has his lonely thoughts, and makes 
A world of those. 

[The two together.] When the high heart we 

magnify. 
And the sure vision celebrate, 
And worship greatness passing by. 
Ourselves are great. 

Scene IV. About the sarne date. A meet- 
ing of the Cabinet at Washington. Smith has 
gone and Cambron has been replaced by 
Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 
Olhenmse the ministry, compleled by Sew- 
AKD, Chabe, Hook, Blaib, and Welles, 
is as before. They are now arranging them- 
sehiea at the table, leaving Lincoln's place 
empty. 

Seward [coming in]. I've just had my 
summons. Is there some special news? 

Stanton. Yes. McClellan has defeated 
Lee at Antietam. It's our greatest success- 
They ought not to recover from it. The 
tide is turning. 



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ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



"5 



Blair. Have you seen the President? 

Stanton, I've just been with him. 

Welles. What does he say? 

Stanton. Heonly said, "At last," He's 
coining directly. 

Hook. He will bring up his proclama- 
tiOQ again. In my opinion it is inopportune. 

Seward. Well, we've learnt by now 
that the President is the beat man among 

Hook, There's a good deal of feeling 
against him everywhere, 1 find. 

Blaie. He 's the one man with character 
enough for this business. 

Hook. There are other opinions. 

Sewabd. Yes, but not here, surely. 

Hook. It's not tor me to say. But I ask 
you, what does he mean about 
tion? I've always understood that it 
tiie Union we were fighting tor, and that 
abolition was to be kept in our minds for 
legislation at the right moment. And now 
one day be talks as though emancipation 
were hia only concern, and the next as 
though he would throw up the whole idea, 
if by doing it he could secure peace with the 
establishment of the Union, Where are 

Sewahd. No, you're wrong. It's the 
Union first now with him, but there's no 
question about his views on slavery. You 
know that perfectly well. But he has al- 
ways kept his policy about slavery tree in 
his mind, to be directed as he thought best 
for the sake of the Union, You remember 
his words : " If I could save the Union with- 
out treeing any slaves, I would do it; and 
if I could save it by treeing all the slaves, 
I would do it; and if I could save it by free- 
ing some and leaving others alone, 1 would 
also do that. My paramount object in this 
Struggle is to save the Union." Nothing 
could be plainer than that, just as nothing 
could be plainer than hia determination to 
free the slaves when he can. 

Hook. Well, there are some who would 
have acted differently. 

Blair. And you may depend upon it 
they would not have acted ao wisely. 

Stanton. I don't altogether agree with 
the President. But he's the only man I 
should agree with at all. 



Hook. To issue the praclai 
and that's what he will propose, mark my 
words, will be to confuse the pubhc mind 
just when we want to ketp it clear. 

Welles. Are you sur(! he will propose 
to issue it now? 

Hook. You see if he does n't. 

Welles, If he docs I shall support him. 

Seward. Is Lee's army broken? 

Stanton, Not yet — liut it is in grave 
danger. 

Hook. Why does n't the President come? 
One would tlunk this news was nothing. 

Chase. I must say I'm anxious to know 
what he has to say about it all, 

[A Clerk comes in.] 
Clerk, The President's compliments, 
and he will be here in a moment. \Hf, goes.] 
Hook, I shall oppose it if it conies up. 
Chahb. He may say nothing about it, 
Seward, I think he will, 
Stanton, Anyhow, it s the critical mo- 

Blair. Here he comes. 

[Lincoln comes in carrying a small book.] 

Lincoln, Good-moming, gentlemen. 

[He takes his place.] 

The Ministers. Good-morning, Mr. 
President. 

Seward. Great news, we hear. 

Hook. If we leave things with the army 
to take their course for a little now, we 
ought to see through om' difficulties. 

Lincoln. It's an exciting morning, gen- 
tlemen. I feel rather excited myself. I find 
mymindnot at it3 best in excitement. Will 
you allow me? [Opening his book.] It may 
compose us all. It is M-. Artemus Ward's 

[The MiNifiTBiia, mUi the excep- 
tion of Hook, who makes no at- 
tempt to hide his irrilaiion, and 
Stanton, who wovtd do the same 
but for his disapproval of Hook, 
listen with good'humoured pa- 
tience and amusement while he 
reads the following passage from 
Artemis Wai-d.] 
"High Handed Outrage at Utica," 
" In the Paul of 1856, 1 showed my abow 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



in Utiky, a trooly grate city in the State of 
New York. The people gave me a eordyal 
recepshun. The press waa loud in her 
praaes. 1 day as I was givin a deaeripshun of 
my Beests and Snaiks in my usual flowry 
stile what was my akorn aad disgust to see 
a big burly feller walk up to the cage con- 
tainin my wax fibers of the Lord's last 
Supper, and cease Judas Isoarrot by the 
feet and drag him out on the ground. He 
then commenced fur to pound him aa hard 
aa he cood. 

"'What under the son are you abowt,' 

"Sezhe, ' What did you bring this pussy- 
Unermus cuss here fur?' and he hit the 
wax figger another tremenjia blow on the 
hed. 

"Sea I, 'You egrejus ass, that airs a wax 
figger — a represeatashun of the false 
'Poatle.' 

"Sez he, 'That's all very well fur you to 
say; but I teil you, old man, that Judas 
Iscarrot can't show himself in Utiky with 
impunerty by a dam site,' with which ob- 
aervaahun he kaved in Judassis hed. The 
young man belonged to 1 of the first f am- 
erliea in Utiky. 1 aood him, and the Joory 
brawt in a verdick of Arson in the 3d degree." 

Stanton. May we now consider affairs 
of state? 

Hook. Yea, we may. 

Lincoln. Mr. Hook says, yes, we may. 

Stanton. Thank you. 

LiKCOLN. Oh, no. Thank Mr. Hook. 

Sewakd. McClellan is in pursuit of Lee, 
I suppose. 

Lincoln. You suppose a good deal. But 
tor the first time McClellan has the chance 
of being in pursuit of Lee, and that's the 
first sign of their end. If McClellan does n't 
take his chance, we'll move Grant down 
to the job. That will mean delay, but no 
matter. The mastery haa changed hands. 

Blaib. Grant drinks. 

Lincoln. Then tell me the name of his 
brand. I'Usendsomebarrelstothe others. 
He wins victoriea. 

Hook. Is there other buaineas? 

Lincoln, There is. Some weeks ago I 
showed you a draft I made proclaiming 
freedom for all slaves. 



Hook [agide to Welles]. I told you so. 

LiNCOLN, You thought then it was not 
the time to issue it. I agreed. I think the 
moment has come. May I read it to you 
again? "It ia proclaimed that on the first 
day of January in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, 
all persons held as slaves within any state, 
the people whereof shall then be in rebel- 
lion against the United States, shall be 
then, thenceforward, and forever free." 
That allows three months from to-day. 
There are clauses dealing with coropensa^ 
tion in a separate draft. 

Hook. I must oppose the issue of such a 
proclamation at this moment in the most 
unqualified terms. This question should be 
left until our victory is complete. To 
thrust it forward now would be to invite 
dissension when we most need unity. 

Welles. I do not quite understand, 
Mr. President, why you think this the pre- 
cise moment. 

Lincoln. Believe me, gentlemen, I have 
considered this matter with all the earn- 
estness and understanding of which I am 
capable. 

Hook. But when the New York Tri- 
hune urged you to come forward with a 
clear declaration six montha ago, you re- 
buked them. 

Lincoln. Because I thought the occa- 
sion not the right one. It waa useless to 
issue a proclamation that might be as in- 
operative as the Pope's bull againat the 
comet. My duty, it has seemed to me, haa 
been to be loyal to a principle, and not to 
betray it by expressing it in action at the 
wrong time. That is what I conceive states- 
manship to be. For long now I have had 
two fixed resolves. To preserve the Union, 
and to abolish slavery. How to preserve 
the Union I was always clear, and more 
than two years of bitterness have not 
dulled my vision. We have fought for the 
L'^nion, and we are now winning for the 
Union. When and how to proclaim aboli- 
tion I have all this time been uncertain. I 
am uncertain no longer, A few weeks ago I 
saw that, too, cleariy. So soon, I said to my- 
self, as the rebel army shall be driven out of 
Maryland, and it becomes plain to the world 



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ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



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that victory is assured to us in the end, 
the time will have come to announce that 
with that victory and a vindicated Union 
will come abolition, I made the promise 
to myself — and to my Maker. The rebel 
army is now driven out, and I am going to 
fulfil that promise. I do not wish your 
advice about the main matter, for that I 
have determined for mj^elf. Tiiis I say 
without intending anything but respect for 
any one of you. But I beg you to stand 
with me in this thing. 

Hook. In my opinion, it's altogether 
too impetuous. 

Lincoln, One other observation I will 
make. I icnow very well that others might 
in this matter, aa in others, do better than 
1 can, and if I was satisfied that the public 
confidence was more fully possessed by 
any one of thera than by me, and knew of 
any constitutional way in which he could 
be put in my place, he should have it. I 
would gladly yield it to him. But, though 
1 cannot claim undivided confidence, 1 do 
not know that, all things considered, any 
Other person has more; and, however this 
may be, there is no way in which I can have 
any other man put where I am. I am here; 
1 must do the best 1 can, and bear the re- 
sponsibility of taking the course which I 
feel I oi^ht to take. 

Stanton. Could this be left over a short 
time for consideration? 

Chabe. I feel that we should remember 
that our only public cause at the moment 
is the preservation of the Union. 

Hook. I entirely agree. 

Lincoln. Gentlemen, we cannot escape 
history. We of this administration will be 
remembered in spite of ourselves. No per- 
sonal signiiicance or insignificance can 
spare one or another of ua. In giving free- 
dom to the slave we assure freedom to the 
free. We shall nobly save or meanly lose 
the last, best hope on earth. \He places the 
prodamation in front of him.] "Shall be 
thenceforward and forever free." Gentle- 
men, I pray for your support. [He signs il.] 
[The Minibters jise. Seward, 
WelIjES, and Blair ahf^ Lin- 
coln's hand aTid go out. Stan- 
ton and Cbabe bmo to kim, and 



follovi. Hook, the last to nee, 
moves away, ifaMng no sign.] 

Lincoln. Hook. 

Hook. Yes, Mr. President. 

Lincoln. Hook, one cannot help hear- 
ing things. 

Hook. I beg your pardon? 

Lincoln. Hook, there's a way some 
people have, when a man says a disagree- 
able thing, of asking him to repeat it, hop- 
ing to embarrass him. It's often effective. 
But I'm not easily embarrassed. 1 said 
one cannot help hearing things. 

Hook. And I do not understand what 
you mean, Mr. President. 

Lincoln. Come, Hook, we're alone. 
Lincoln is a good enouj^b name. And I 
think you understand. 

Hook. How should 1? 

Lincoln. Then, plainly, there are in- 
trigues going on. 

Hook. Against the government? 

Lincoln. No. In it. Against me. 

Hook. Criticism, perhaps. 

Lincoln. To what end? To better my 

Hook. I presume that might be the 
purpose. 

Lincoln. Then, why am I not told what 
itU? 

Hook. I imagine it's a natural com- 
punction. 

Lincoln. Or ambition? 

Hook. What do you mean? 

Lincoln. You think you ought to be in 
my place. 

Hook. You are well informed. 

Lincoln. You canriot imagine why 
every one does not see that you ought to be 
in my place. 

Hook. By what right do you say that? 

Lincoln. Is it not true? 

Hook. You take me unprepared. You 
have me at a disadvantage. 

Lincoln. You speak as a very scrupu- 
lous man. Hook. 

Hook. Do you question my honour? 

Lincoln. As you will. 

Hook. Then I resign. 

Lincoln. As a protest against . . .1 

Hook, Your suspicion. 

Lincoln. It is false? 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Hook, Very well, I will be tranlt. I mia- 
truat your judgment. 

Lincoln. In what? 

Hook. Generally. You oyer-empliasise 
abolition. 

Lincoln. You don't mean that. You 
mean tJmt you fear possible public feeling 
against abolition. 

Hook. It must be persuaded, not forced. 

Lincoln. All the most worthy elements 
in it are persuaded. But the ungenerous 
elements make the moat noise, and you 
hear them only. You will run from the ter- 
rible name of Abolitionist even when it is 
pronounced by worthless creatures whom 
you know you have every reason to despise. 

Hook. You have, in my opinion, failed 
in necessary firmness in saying what will 
be the individual penalties of rebellion. 

Lincoln. This is a war. I will not allow 
it to become a blood-feud. 

Hook. We are fighting treason. We 
must meet it with severity. 

Lincoln. We will defeat treason. And 
I will meet it with conciliation. 

Hook. It is a policy of weakness. 

Lincoln, It is a poUcy of faith ^ it is a 
policy of compassion. [Warmly.] Hook, 
why do you plague me with these jealousies? 
Once before I found a member of my Cab- 
inet working behind my back. But he was 
disinterested, and he made amends nobly. 
But, Hook, you have allowed the burden of 
these days to sour you. I know it all. I'v< 
watched you plotting and plotting foi 
authority. And I, who am a lonely man 
have been sick at heart. So great is the 
task God has given to my hand, and so few 
are my days, and my deepest hunger is 
ftlwa3^ for loyalty in my own house. You 
have witiiheld it from me. You have done 
great service in your office, but you have 
grown envious. Now you resign, as ; 
did once before when I came openly to you 
in friendship. And you think that again I 
shall flatter you and coas you to stay. I 
don't think I ought to do it. 1 will not do 
it. 1 must take you at your word. 

Hook. I am content. [He turns to go.] 

Lincoln, Will you shake hands? 

Hook. 1 b^ you will excuse me. 

IHe goes. Lincoln standx sUenily 



foT a moment, a travelled, Umely 
captain. He rings a beU, and a 
Clerk comes in.] 
Lincoln. Ask Mr. Hay to come in. 
Clerk. Yes, sir. 

[He goes. Lincoln, from the folds 

of his pockets, produces another 

book, and holds it unopened. 

Hay comes in.] 

Lincoln. I'm rather tired to-day, Hay. 

Read to me a little. [He hands him Om 

book.] "The Tempest" — you know the 

passage. 

Hay [reading] . Our revels now are ended ; 
these our actors, 
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and 
Are melted into air, into thin air; 
And, Uke the baseless fabric of this vision, 
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous 

The solemn tcinples, the great globe ilaelf. 
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve 
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, 
Leave not a rack behind. We are such 

stuff 
As dreams are made on, and our little Ufe 
Is rounded with a sleep. 

Lincoln. We are such stuff 
As dreams are made on, and our little 
life . . . 



First Chronicler. Two years again. 
Desolation of battle, and long debate. 
Counsels and prayers of men, 
And bitterness of destruction and witless 

And the shame of lie contending with lie, 
Are spending themselves, and the braia 
That set its lonely chart tour years gone by, 
Knowing the word fulfilled. 
Comes with charity and communion to 

To reckoning, 

To reconcile and build. 

[The two togelheT.] What victor coming 
from the field 

Leaving the victim desolate, 
But has a vulnerable shield 

Against tJie substances of fate? 



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ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



That battle's won that leads in chains 

But retribution and despite, 
And bids misfortune count her gains 

Not stricken in a penal night. 

His triumph is but bitterness 

Who looks not to the starry doom 
When proud and humble but possess 

The little kingdom of the tomb. 
Who, striking home, shall not forgive, 

Strikes with a weak returning rod, 
Claiming a fond prerogative 

Against the armoury of God. 

Who knows, and for his knowledge stands 

Against the darkness in dispute, 
And dedicates industrious hands. 

And keeps a spirit resolute, 
Prevailing in the battle, then 

A steward of his word is made, 
To bring it honour among men. 

Or know his captaincy betrayed. 

Scene V. An A^l evening in 1865. A 
farmhouse near Appomattox. Genehal 
Grant, Commander'in-Ckief, under Lik- 
COLN, <tf the Northa^ armies, is seated at 
a table witk Captain Malins, an aide-dt- 
camp. He is smoking a cigar, and at intervals 
he TepUniahes his glass of whiskey, Den- 
nis, an orderly, sits at a table in tiie comer, 
writing. 

Grant [consulting a large walch lying in 
front of him]. An hour and a half. There 
ought to be something more from Meade 
by now. Dennis. 

Dennis [coming to the table]. Yes, sir. 
Grant. Take these papers to Captain 
Templeman, and ask Colonel West if the 
Twenty-Third are in action yet. Tell the 
cook to send some soup at ten o'clock. Say 
it was cold yesterday. 

Dennis. Yes, sir. (He goes.} 

Gbant. Give me Uiat map, Malins. 

[Mauns hands him the map at 
lukich he is working.] 
{After !i,iidyingit in sUence.] Yes. There's no 
doubt about it. Unless Meade goes to sleep 
it can only be a question of hours. Lee 's a 
grsat man, but he can't get out of that. 

[MaMng a ring on the map wUk kit 
fingm'l. 



X19 

This 



Mauns [taking the map again], 
ought to be the end, sir. 

Grant. Yes. If Lee surrenders, we can 
all pack up for home. 

Malins. By God, sir, i ; will be splendid, 
won't it, to be back again? 

Gbant. By God, sir, it will. 

Malins. I beg your pfirdon, sir. 

Grant. You're quit*; right, Malins. 
My boy goes away to sohool next week. 
Xow I may be able to go down with him 
and see him settled. 

[Dennis comes back,] 

Dennis. Colonel West says, yes, sir, 
for the last half-hour. The cook says he's 
sorry, sir. It was a mistake. 

Grant. Tell him to keep his mistakes 
in tie kitchen. 

Dennis. I will, sir. 

[ffe goes bock to his place.] 

Grant [at his papers]. Those rifles went 
up this afternoon? 

Malins. Yes, sir, 

[Another Oroerly comes in.] 

Obdehlt. Mr. Lincoln has just arrived, 
sir. He's in the yard now. 

Grant. All right, I'll come. [Tes Or- 
nERLY goes. Grant mes and crosses to 
the door, but is met there by Lincoln and 
Hat, Lincoln, in top boots and tall hal that 
has seen many campaigns, shakes hands lailh 
Grant and takes Maunb's salute.] I was 
n't expecting you, sir. 

Lincoln. No; but I could n't keep away. 
How's it going? [They sU.] 

Grant, Meade sent wcrd an hour and a 
half ago that Lee was surrounded all but 
two miles, which, was closing in. 

Lincoln. That ought jibout to settle it, 
eh? 

Grant. Unless anything goes wrong in 
those two miles, sir, I'm expecting a 
further report from Meade every minute. 

Lincoln. Would there be more fighting? 

Grant. It will probably mean fighting 
through the night, more or less. But Lee 
must realise it's Iiopeiess iDy the morning. 

An Orderly [entering]. A despatch, sir. 

Grant. Yes. 

[The Orderly goes, and a Yottno 



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Opficeh cotnes in from the field. 
He salutea and hands a despatch 
lo Gbant.! 

Officer. From General Meade, sir. 

Grant [taking it]. Thank you. [He 
opens it and reads.] You need n't wait. 
[The Officer salutes and goes.] Yea, 
they've closed the ring. Meade gives 
them ten houi«. It 's timed at eight. 
That's six o'clock in tJie mornii^. 

[He hands the despatch to Lincoln.] 

Lincoln. We must be merciful. Bob 
Lee has been a gallant fellow. 

Gbant [U^ing a paper]. Perhaps you'll 
look through this list, air. I hope it's the 
last we shall have. 

Lincoln [taking the paper). It's a hor- 
rible part of the business. Grant. Any 
shootings? 

Grant, One. 

Lincoln. Damn it, Grant, why can't 
you do without it? No, no, of course not! 
Who is it? 

Ghant. MalJDS. 

Malins [opening o hook]. William Scott, 
air. It's rather a hard case. 

Lincoln. What is it? 

Malinb. He had just done a heavy 
march, sir, and volunteered tor double 
guard duty to relieve a sick friend. He was 
found asleep at his post. 

[He shuts the book.] 

Gbant. I was anxious to spare him. But 
it could n't be done. It was a critical place, 
at a gravely critical time. 

Lincoln. When is it to be? 

Mauns. To-morrow, at daybreak, sir. 

Lincoln. 1 don't see that it will do him 
any good to be shot. Where is he? 

Maunb. Here, sir. 

Lincoln. Can I go and see him? 

Grant. Where is he? 

Mauns. la the barn, I believe, air. 

Grant. Dennis. 

Dennis [coming from his tabh). Yes, ^i. 

Grant. Ask them to bring Scott in here. 
{Dennis goes.] I want to see Colonel 
West. Malins, ask Templeman if those 
figures are ready yet. 

[He goes, and Malins fdUms.] 

Lincoln. Will you, Hay? 
' . - [Hat goes. After a moment, during 



which Lincoln lakes the book 
thai Malins has been reading 
from, and looks into it, William 
Scott is brought in under guard. 
He is a boy of twenty.] 

Lincoln [to the Guard}. "Thank you. 
Wait outside, will you? [The Men salute 
and withdraw.] Are you William Scott? 

Scott. Yes, sir. 

Lincoln. You know who I am? 

Scott. Yes, sir. 

Lincoln. The General tells me you've 
been court-martialled. 

Scott. Yes, sir. 

Lincoln. Asleep on guard? 

Scorr. Yes, sir. 

Lincoln. It 's a very serious offence. 

Scott. 1 know, Mr. 

Lincoln. What was it? 

Scott [a pause]. I could n't keep awake, 

Lincoln. You'd had along march? 

Scott. Twenty-three miles, sir. 

Lincoln. You were doing double guard? 

Scott. Yes, sir. 

Lincoln. Who ordered you? 

Scott. Well, sir, I offered. 

Lincoln. Why? 

Scott. Enoch White — he i 
We come from the same place. 

Lincoln. Where's that? 

Scott. Vermont, sir. 

Lincoln. You live there? 

Scott. Yes, sir. My . . . i 
farm down there, sir. 

Lincoln. Who has? 

Scott. My mother, sir. I 
phot<^aph, E 






i got her 



[Het 



it fro, 



Lincoln [taking il]. 
about this? 

Scott. For God's sake, don't, sir! 

Lincoln. There, there, my boy. You're 
not going to be shot. 

Scott [after a pav»e\. Not going to be 

Lincoln. No, no. 

Scott. Not — going — to — be — shot! 
[He breaks dovm, sobbing.] 

luNCOi^ [rising a7i4 going to him]. There, 
there. I ^briieve you when you tell me that 
you couldn't keep awake. I'm goii^ to 



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ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



trust you, and send you back to your 
regiment. [He goes back to his seo(.| 

Scott. When may I go back, sir? 
Lincoln. You can go back to-morrow. 
I expect the fighting will be over, though, 
Scott, la it over yet, sir? 
Lincoln. Not quite. 
Scott. Please, sir, let me go back to- 
night — let me go back to-niglit. 

Lincoln. Very well. [He tnriles.] Do 
you know where General Meade is? 
Scott. No, sir. 

Lincoln, Ask one ot those men to come 

here. [Scott cells one of hia guards in.] 

Lincoln. Your prisoner is discharged. 

Take him at once to General Meade with 

this. [He hands a note to ihe man.} 

The Soldier. Yes, sir. 

Scott. Thank you, sir. 

[He satules and goes ovt with the 
Soldier.] 
Lincoln. Hay. 

Hat [tmtside]. Yes, air. [He comes tn.) 
Lincoln. What's the time? 
Hay [looking at the ivateh on Ok table]. 
Just on half-past nine, sir. 

L1VC0I.N. I shall sleep here for a little. 
You'd better shake down too. They'll 
wake us if there's any news, 

[Lincoln wraps himself up on two 
chairs. Hat follows suit on a 
bench. After a few moments 
Grant comes to the door, sees 
what has happened, blows out the 
candles quietly, and goes away.] 



The First Chbonicleb. Under the stars 
an end is made. 
And on the field the Southern blade 
Lies broken, 

And, where strife was, sball union be. 
And, where was bondage, liberty. 
The word is spoken. , . . 
Night passes. 

[rAe Curtain rises on the same 
scene, Lincoln and Hat stUl 
lying asleep. The light of daum 
fills the room The Ordeblt 
comes m with tuio siru^ng cups 



121 

of coffee and some biscuits. 
Lincoln wakes.] 
Lincoln. Good-morning. 
Orderly. Good-morning, sir, 
Lincoln [taking coffei; arul biscuits]. 
Thank you. 

[The Ordehlt turns to Hat, who 
sleeps on, and lie hesitates.] 
Lincoln. Hay. [Shouting.] Hay. 
Hay [starting up]. Hullo! What the 
devil is it? 1 beg your pai-don, sir. 
Lincoln. Not at all. Take a little coffee. 
Hay. Thank you, sir. 

[He takes coffee and discmts. The 
Obdehlt goes.l 
Lincoln. Slept well. Hay? 
Hav. 1 feel a little crumpled, air. I 
think I tell off once. 
Lincoln. What's the time? 
Hat [looking at the watch]. Six o'clock, 

[Grant comes in.] 

Grant. Good-morning, sir; good-morn- 
ing, Hay. 

Lincoln. Good-morning, general. 

Hat. Good-morning, sir. 

Grant. I did n't disturb you last night. 
A message has just come from Meade. Lee 
asked for an armistice at lour o'clock. 

Lincoln [after a silence]. For four years 
life has been but the hope of this moment. 
It is strange how simple it is when it cornea. 
Grant, you've served the country very 
truly. And you 've made riy work poaaible. 
[He lakes his hand.] Thai.k you. 

Grant. Had I failed, the fault would 
not have been yours, sir. I succeeded be- 
cause you believed in me. 

Lincoln. Where is Lee? 

Grant. He's coming here. Meade 
should arrive directly. 

Lincoln. Where will Lee wait? 

Grant. There's a room ready for him. 
Will you receive him, sir? 

Lincoln, No, no, Grant. That's your 
affair. You are to mention no political mat- 
ters. Be generous. But I need n't say that. 

Grant [taking a paper from his pocket]. 
Those are the terms I suggest. 

IjiNCOLN [reading]. Yes, yea. They do 
you honour. 

[He places Uie paper on Uie table,] 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



lAn Orderly comes in.] 

Orderly. General Meade ia here, air. 

Grant. Ask him to come here. 

Orderly. Yes, air. [He goes.] 

Grant. I learnt a good deal from 
Robert Lee in early days. He 'a a better 
man than most of us. This business will go 
pretty near the heart, sir. 

Lincoln. I'm glad it's to be done by a 
brave gentleman, Grant. [Genebal Meade 
and Captain" Sonb, ftis aide-de-camp, 
come in. Meade salutes.] CongratulatJons, 
Meade. You've done we!!. 

Meade. Thank you, sir. 

Grant. Was there much more fighting? 

Meade, Pretty hot for an hour or two. 

Grant. How long will Lee be? 

Meade. Only a few minutes, I should 
say, sir. 

Grant, You said nothing about terms? 

Meade. No, sir. 
' Lincoln. Did a boy Scott come to you? 

Meade. Yes, sir. He went into action 
at once. He was killed, was a't he, Sone? 

SONB. Yea, sir. 

Lincoln, Killed? It's a queer world, 
Grant. 

Meade. Is there any proclamation to 
be made, sir, about the rebels? 

Lincoln. No, no. I'i! have nothing of 
hanging or shooting these men, eveo the 
worst of them. Frighten them out of the 
country, open the gates, let down the bars, 
scare tJiem off. Shoo ! [He fiings out his 
orms.] Good-bye, Grant. Report at Wash- 
ington as soon as you can. [He shakes 
hands with him,] Good-bye, gentlemen. 
Come along. Hay. 

[Meade salutes ccnd Lincoln goes, 
followed by Hay,] 

Grant. Who is with Lee? 

Meade. Only one ot his staff, sir. 

Grant. You might see Malins, will you, 
Sone, and let us know directly General Lee 

Sone. Yes, sir. [He goes out.) 

Grant. Well, Meade, it's been a big 

Meade. Yes, sir. 

Grant. We've had courage and de- 
termination. And we've had wife, to beat 



a great soldier. I'd say that to any man. 
But it's Abraham Lincoln, Meade, who 
has kept us a great cause clean to fight for. 
It does a man's heart good to know he's 
given victory to such a man to handle, A 
glass, Meade? [Pouring out whiskey.] No? 
[Drinking.] Do you know, Meade, there 
were fools who wanted me to oppose Lin- 
coln for the next Presidency, I 've got my 
vanities, but I know better than that. 
]Mkliss comes in.] 
Malins. General Lee is here, sir. 
Grant. Meade, will General Lee do me 
the honour of meeting me here? [Meade 
salutes and goes.] Where the deuce is my 
hat, Malins? And sword, 
Malins, Here, sir. 

[Malins gets them for kim.] 
[Meade and Sone come in, and stand at the 
door al attention. Robert Lbe, Gen- 
eral-in-Chief of the Confederate forces, 
comes in, followed by one of his staff. 
The days of critical anxiety Ihmugk 
whick he has just lived ■ have marked 
themselves on Lbb'b face, hut his 
groomed and ■punclilious toilet conirosis 
pointedly imth Grant's uraxnsidered 
appearance. The two commanders face 
each other. Grant salutes, and Lee 

Grant. Sir, you have given me occasion 
to be proud of my opponent, 

Lee. 1 have not spared my strength, I 
acknowledge its defeat. 

Grant. You have come — 

Lee. To ask upon what terms you will 
accept surrender. Yes. 

Grant [takiTig the paper from the table and 
handing it to Leb]. They are simple. I 
hope you will not find them ungenerous. 

Lee [having read the terms]. You are 
magnanimous, sir. May I make one aub- 

Grant. It would be a privilege if I could 
consider it. 

Lbe. You allow our officers to keep their 
horses. That is gracious. Our cavalry 
troopers' horses also are their own. 

Grant. I understand. They will be 
needed on the farms. It shall be done. 

Lee. I thank you. It will do much 



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ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



123 



towards conciliating our people. 1 accept 
your terms. 

[Leb unbuckles his sword and 
offers it to Grant.] 
Grant. No, no. I skould have included 
that. It has but one rightful place. 1 beg 



[Lee reptaces his sisord. Ghant 
offi^rs kis hand and Lee lakes it. 
They salvie, and Leb twmatogo.] 



you. 



The Two Chroniclbbs. A wind blows 

in the night, 
And the pride of the rose is gone. 
It laboured, and was delight, 
And rains fell, and shone 
Suns of the summer days. 
And dews washed the bud, 
And thanksgiving and praiae 
Was the rose in our blood. 

And out of the night it came, 

A wind, and the rose fell, 

Shattered its heart of flame, ■• 

And how shall June tell 

The glory that went with May? 

How shall the full year keep 

The beauty that ere its day 

Was blasted into sleep? 

Roses. Oh, heart of man: 
Courage, that in the prime 
Looked on truth, and began 
Conspiracies with time 
To flower upon the pain 
Of dark and envious earth. . . . 
A wind blows, and the brain 
Is the dust that was its birth. 

What shall the witness cry, 
He who has seen alone 
With imagination's eye 
The darkness overthrown? 
Hark: from the long eclipse 
The wise words come — 
A wind blows, and the lips 
Of prophecy are dumb. 

Scene VI. The evening of A^xilli.li,^^. 
The small lounge 0} a theatre. On the far side 
are th» doors of three private boxes. There is 



silence for a few moments. Then the sound of 
applause comes from the auditorium beyond. 
The box doors are opened. In the centre box 
can be seen Lincoln and Stanton, Mrs, 
Lincoln, another lady, ar.d, an officer, talk- 
ing togeOter. The occupar,.li come out from 
the other boxes into the Unmge, where smalt 
knots of people have gathered from different 
direclions, and stand or sil talking busily. 
A Lady. Veryamusing, don't you think? 
Hbb Companion. Oh, yes. But it's 
hardly true to hfe, is it? 

Another Ladt. Is n't that dark girl 
clever? What's her name? 

A Gentmman [consvltir.iQ his programme]. 
Eleanor Crowne. 

Another Gentlemait. There's a ter- 
rible draught, isn't there? I shall have a 
stiff neck. 

HisWiFE. Youshouldkeepyourscarf on. 
The Gentleman. It looks so odd, 
Anotheb Lady. The President looks 
very happy this evening, does n't he? 

Another. No wonder is it? He must 
be a proud man. 

[A young man, dressed in black, 

passes among the people, glancing 

furtively into Lincoln's box, and 

disappears. It is John Wilkes 

Booth.] 

A Lady [greeting another]. Ah, Mrs. 

Bennington. When do you expect your 

husband back? 

[They drift away, SnsAW, carrying 

cloaks and wro-pi, comes in. She 

goes to the box, and speaks to 

Mrs. Lincoln. Then she comes 

away, and site down apart from 

the crowd to wait.] 

A Young Man. I rattier think of going 

on the stage myself. My friends tell me 

I'm uncommon good. Only I don't think 

my health would stand it. 

A Girl. Oh, it must be a very easy life. 
Just acting — ■ that's easy enough. 

[A cry of "Lincoln" comes through 
the auditorium. It is taken up, 
mlh shouts of " The President," 
"Speech," "Abraham Lincoln," 
"Father Abniham," and so im. 
The conversation in the lotmge 
stops as the talkers turn to listen. 



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After a few moments, Lincoln 
i* seen to rise. There is a burst 
of cheering. The people in the 
lounge statid round the box door. 
Lincoln holds up his hand, and 
there is a sudden silence.] 
Lincoln. My friends, I am touched, 
deeply touched, fay this mark of your good- 
will. After tour dark and difficult years, 
we have achieved the great purpose for 
which we set out. General Lee's surrender 
to Geoeral Grant leaves but one Confed- 
erate force in the field, and the end is im- 
mediate and certain. [Cheers.] I have but 
little to say at this moment. I claim not to 
have controlled events, but confess plainly 
that events have controlled me. But as 
events have come before me, I have seen 
them always with one faith. We have pre- 
served the American Union, and we have 
abolished a great wrong. [Cheers.] The 
task of reconciliation, of setting order 
where there is now confusion, of bringing 
about a settlement at once just and merci- 
ful, and of directing the life of a reunited 
country into prosperous channels of good- 
will and generosity, will demand all our 
wisdom, all our loyalty. It is the proudest 
hope of my life that I may be ot some 
service in this work. [Cheers.] Whatever it 
may be, it can be but little in return for all 
the kindness and forbearance that I have 
received. With malice toward none, with 
charity for all, it is for us to resolve that 
this nation, under God, shall have a new 
birth ot freedom; and that government of 
the people, by the people, for the people, 
shall not perish from the earth. 

[There ie a great sound of cheering. 
It dies liovm, OTjd a boy passes 
through the lounge and coils out 
"Last act, ladies and gentle- 
men." The peof^ disperse, and 
the box doors are closed. Susan 
is left alone and there is silence.] 



/w 



[After a few moments. Booth ap- 
pears. He watches Susan cmd 
that her gaze is fixed away 
1 him. fie creeps along to the 
centre box and disengages a hand 
from under his cloak. It hiAds 
a revolmr. Poising himself, he 
opens the door with a smft mmrn- 
ment, fires, flings the door to 
again, and rushes away. The 
door is throxon open again, and 
the Officer follows in pursuit. 
InMde the box, Mrs. Lincoln is 
hieeling by her husband, who is 
supported by Stanton. A Doc- 
TOB runs across the lounge and 
goes into the box. There is com~ 
plete silence in the theatre. The 
door closes again. 
Susan [wh/t has run to the box door, and is 

kneeling there, sobbiTig]. Master, master! 

No, no, not my master! 

[The other box doors have opened, 
and the occupants with olfiers 
haiK collected in little terrm-- 
struck groups in the lounge. Then 
the centre door opens, and Stan- 
ton comes oui, closing il behind 

Stanton. Now he belongs to the ages. 

[The Chroniclers speak.] 
First Chronicler. Events go by. And 
upon eircllmstance 
Disaster strikes with the blind sweep of 

And this our mimic action was a theme, 
Kinsmen, as life is, clouded as a dream. 
Second Chronicler. But, as we spoke, 
presiding everywhere 
Upon event was one man's character. 
And that endures; it is the token sent 
Always to man for man's own govern- 

THE curtain FALIfl 



cb, Google 



MIXED MARRIAGE 
A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS 
Bv St. JOHN G. ERVINE 



cb, Google 



cb, Google 



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PERSONS IN THE PLAY 

John Rainet 
Mrs. Rainet 
Tom Rainet 
Hugh Rainet 
Nora Murray 
Michael O'Haba 



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MIXED MARRIAGE 



Scene. It is the evenitig of a warm sum- 
mer day at the beginning of Jidy. The living 
room of John Rainey's house, by reason of 
the coal-fire burning in the open grate, is 
intoterabiy heated; to counteract this, the door 
leading to the street is partly open, and the 
scvlhry door, hading to the yard is open lo 
its widest. Near the fireplace, above which is 
suspended a portrait of King WiUiam the 
Third in the act of crossing the Boyne, a plain 
d&U table, covered vnth dark-colowred Ameri- 
ean doth, stands. It is laid for the emning 
meoL At the fire, placing a plateful of buttered 
toast on the fender, is Mrs. Eainby, o slight, 
geniie teoman, patient with the awful patience 
of a woman who has always submitted to her 
htisband's wilt, without ever respecting him. 
WkUst she is completing the preparations for 
the meal, the street door is pushed hurriedly 
open and John Rainby, dirty from his UAot, 
enters. He is grey-haired, but not bald; he 
speaks with the guide accent of one used to 
being obeyed. 

Rainet. Is the tay ready? 

Meis. Rainey. It'll be ready in a min- 
ute! Ye '11 have to wait ti! Tom an' Hughie 

Rainby. What are they not here fur? 
They have n't anny fardher nor me to 
Gome, an A'm here afore them. An' me an 
ould man an' all. 

Mh3. Rainby. Ah^ now don't be puttin' 
yerself out. Sure, they'll be here in a min- 
ute or two. Gwon into the scullery now 
an' wash yerself. 

Rainby. Has the wee boy wi' the TeUy- 
graph come yit? 

Mrs. Rainey. He'll be here in a minit. 
Lord bless us, ye're in a quare hurry the 
night 

Rainet. He'salwayslate, that wee lad! 

Mrs. Rainey. Wus there annythin' per- 
tickler ye wur wantin' t' see in it? 



out on strack, John? 

Raikey. Aye, we come out this avenin'. 
Mrs. Rainey. Aw, God help us, this is 
tarrible ! 

Rainet. It's goan t' be a long job too, 
A can t«ll ye. The mastera an' the men are 
determined. ' 

Mrs. Rainby. Ye nWii tould me there 
was goan t' be a strack. 

Rainby. Och, what wud a lock o' wee- 
men want t' be talkin' ftbout stracks fur. 
What do they know about it? 

Mrs. Rainbt. It's on'y us that does 
know about it. It's us that has t' kape the 
heart in you while it 'a on. 

Rainey. Aw, now, iiould yer tonguel 
You weemen are always down in the mouth 
about somethin'. Ye wud think t' hear 3^ 
talkin' we come out on strack fur the tun 
o' the thing. It's no joke, A can tell ye! 
Mrs. Rainey. It is not, indeed, 
Rainey [taking o-ff his coat and loosening 
kis waistcoat]. Where's tiie towel? 
Mr3. Rainey. Behin' the scullery door. 
[He goes into the scullery, and the 
noise of great splashing is heard 
whilst he washes himself. A 
newspaper boy is heard coming 
down the striet, crying, "TeUy- 
ger-ah!" He flings a paper into 
the little porch, ullers his cry in 
the door, and. passes on. Mrs. 
Rainey goes to the door and picks 
the paper up. As she does so, 
her son, Tom, appears in the 
doorway. They enter the kitchen 
together.] 
Tom. Ib that you, M;i7 
Mrs. Rainey. Aye, Tom! Where's 
Hughie? 
Tom. Och, he's awaj' after them Simi 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



e ye? 



Feiners. He'll be here ii 
me da in yet? 



Rainbt. So ye're here st 
Kapin' the tay waitin' ! 

Tom. Och, sure, A eudden help it, A wus 

Rainby, Aye, ye're sure t' be late if 
ye're wi' him. Where's he? 

Tom. a left him in Royal Avenue talkin' 
to Michael O'Hara. 

Rainey. What, thon Papish fella? 

Tom. Aye, they went intil the Sinn 
Feinera' Hall thegither. [He sits doTvn and 
takes off hiiboots.] He'll not be long. 

\He lakes off Me coat and loosens 
hia waistcoat.] 

Rainby, A don't hke Hughie goin' alter 
Papishes. He knows a quare lock o' them. 

Mrs. Rainby. Och, now, what harm is 
there in that. A'm sure Micky O'Hara's 
as nice a wee fella as ye cud wish t' meet. 

Rainbt. Aw, A've nathin' agenst him, 
but A don't like Cathlika an' Prodesans 
mixin' thepther. No good ivir comes o' the 
like o' that. 

[Tom goes into the scvUery where the 
splashing noise is renewed.] 

Mbs. Ra!Nt;y, 'They'll have to mix in 
heaven, John. 

Rainby. Thia is n't heaven. 

Mhs. Rainby. Indeed, tJiat's true. What 
wi' stracks an' one thing an' another, it 
might be hell. 

Rainey. There's no peace where Cath- 
liks an' Prodesans gita mixed up thegither. 
Liik at the way the Cathliks carry on on 
the Twelfth o' July. Ye have t' have the 
peelers houhn' them back for fear they'd 
make a riot, D ' ye call that respectable or 
dacent? 

Mrs, Rainey. Well, God knows, they 
git plenty of provokin'. What wi' them 
men that prache at the Custom House 
Steps an' yer or'nge arches an' the way the 
Ttllygraph is alwaj^ goin' on at them, A 
wonder they don't do more nor they do, 

Rainey. Aw, ye wur always one fur 
Cathliksl 

Mrs. Rainey, A belave in lavin' people 



alone. Come on, an' have yer tay fur dear 
sake. Sure ye'd go on talkie' fur a lifetime 
it A wus to let ye. 

Rainbt. Are ye not goin' to wait fur 
Hughie? 

Mits. Rainby. No, ye'd better have 
youra now: he'll have his when he comes 
in. [They sit doum and begin the meal.] 

Rainey. Dear on'y knows when that'll 
be, runnin' after a lock o' Socialists an' 
Cathliks? 

Mrs. Rainbt. He's not runnin' after 
Socialists. It's Sinn Feiners he's runnin' 

Rainey. They're the same thing. Sinn 
Feiners are all Sooialista. That fella 
Michael O'Hara, what d' ye think he said 
when A asked him what way o' thinkin' 
he was? 

Mrs. Rainey, A don't know, A'm sure. 

Rainey. A 'ma member o' the Independ- 
ent Labor Party, ses he, the I,L.P. A 
Socialist Society — that's what it is. Did 
ye ivir hear the like o' that? 

Mrs. Rainey. Och, A've heerd worse. 
A've heerd o' stracks. 

Rainbt. There ye go again. What can 
we do? Sure, the masters is not payin' us 
fair, an' there's no other way o' matin' 

[Tom re-enters the kitchen and completes kis 
toilet in front of the small looking-glass 
hanging on the wall.] 

Is there, Tom? 

Tom. Sure, I don't know anythin' about 

Rainby. Naw, ye're ignorant, that's 
what ye are. A great big fella like you, an' 
don't know that yit. Ye think o' nathin 
but goin' up the road of an avenin' after a 

Mrs. Rainby. Well, sure ye wur the 
same yerself when ye wur his age. Come on 
an' have yer tay, Tom. 

Rainbt. The young men o' this day 
don't think enough. There's not one o' 
them knows a thing about the battle o' the 
Boyne. What happened on the first day 
o' July in the year sixteen hunderd and 
ninety, wiJl ye tell me that, now? 

[Tom sits at the table.] 



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Tom. Aw, fur dear sake, hould yer 
tongue. A left school long ago. 

Mrs. Rainby. Mebbe some ould men 
lost their tempers. 

Rainht. Aye, ye can make fun, but it 
was the gran' day fur Englan' an' Irolan' 
that wufl, when William o' Or'nge driv 
Popery out o' Irelan'. 

Tom. He didden drive it far. Sure, 
there's plenty o' Papishes in Bilfast, an' 
there's more o' them in Irelan' nor Prod- 

Mrs. Rainbt. a can't help thinkin' it's 
their country we've got. 

Rainby. Their country, indeed! What 
d'ye think 'ud become o' us if this wur their 
country? There is n't a Prodesan in Irelan' 
wud be left alive. 

Mrs. Rainby. Ocb, now, don't tell us 
the like o' that, fur sure it's not true. 
CathUks is jus' like wnrselves, as good as 

A wish to me goodness ye wudden go to the 
Custom House Steps if that's the soart o' 
nonsense they tache ye. 

Rainet. Adon't nade t'betaught it — 
Aknowit. A'vereadabitinme time. Did 
ye ivh' read the history o' Maria Monk? 

Tom. Sure, Hi^hie sea tfcat'a all hes. 

Rainby. Lies, does he call it? What 
does he know about it? That's what comes 
thrum associatin' wi' Tagues. He'll be 
disbelievin' the Bible nixt. 

[A knock is heard on the door, and 
a voice cries "Are ye in, Mrs. 
BaineyT"] 

Mrs. Rainby. Aye, A am. 

[Enter Noha Mttrray, a good-looking, intel- 
ligent, dark-haired girl of tinenly-fmir.] 

Och, is that yerself, Nora? Sure come on in. 
Nora. Good avenin', Mr. Rainey. 
Rainzy. Good avenin", 
Nora. How ir ye, Tom? 
Tom. A'm bravely, thank ye, Nora. 
Nora. 1b Hugh in? 
Mas. Rainby. He's not home yet, but 

he'll be here in a wee minute. Have ye 

had yer tay? 

Nora. Aye, A have, thank ye. 

Mrs. Rainby, Sure, ye cud take a wee 

drap more, cudden ye? 



Nora. Aw, no, thank ye. A'm on'y 
aft«r havin' it. 

Tom. Gwon an' have a drap 'er that. 

Nora. Och, A cud not indeed. 

Rainey. There's no good askin' her if 
she won't have it. 

Nora. Is it true about the strack? 

Rainby. It is. 

Nora. Dear a dear hutit'saquarepity. 

Rainey. Aw vou w»emen are all the 
same. Ye're alna3S lulkin on the black 
side o' things an complaimn 

Mrs. Rainey There s nathin' but 
black sides to strai-ks. 

Tom. Aw, there s a bright side, too. Ye 
don't have to git up no ei rlj m the momin'. 

Rainey. Ye'll git up at the same time 
the morra momin', strack or no strack. It 
wudden take you long t' git out o' the 
habit o' gettin' up early. 

Nora. There'll be the quare distress in 
Belfast. It wus awful the last time. 

Rainbt. There's atw^iys distress fur the 
like o' us sometime or other. 

Nora. Indeed, that'f. true. 

Mrs. Rainey. There ought to be some 
other way o' settlin' these things nor 
stracka. It's wicked, that's what it is, an' 
it's the weemen that has to bear the worst 
o' it. Aw, yes, indeed it is. You men don't 
have to face the rent ajjent an' the grocer 
wi' no money. 

Rainby. We all have to take our share, 

Mrs, Rainey. Some have to take more 
nor their share. [To Nora.| Are ye goan 
up the road wi' Hughie the night, Nora? 

No^A \somewhatemba,'rassed]. No, A jus' 
come in t' ask him about the strack. 

Rainbt. Well ye 've heerd about it. 

Nora \in greater cwifvsion]. Yes, A'U 
jus' be goin' now. 

Mrs. Rainet, Fur dear sake, don't take 
any notis o' him. Sure, he 's not beside him- 
self the night. Jus' sit down there, an' wait 
till Hughie comes. He '3 a long time. [She 
goes to the door and looks oui.) He's not in 
sight. Come on an' we'll walk til the head 

NoBA. Aye, A will. 

[Nora and Mrs. Raikby go otd at 
the street door.] 



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Rainey, Is Hughiegoin' out wi' that girl? 

Tom. Aw, he walks up the road wi' her 
but sure he' done that often enough wi' 
other girls. He's a great boy fur girls. 

Rainey. What religion is she? 

Tom [uneasU'^]. A'm not sure. 

Rainet. She's got a Papish name. 
There's many a Fenian be the name o' 
Murray, 

Tom. Sure, what differs does it make if 
she is a Cathlik. She's a brave, nice wee 
girl. 

Rainbt. a wudden have a son o' mine 
roarry a Cathlik fur all the wurl'. A've 
nathin' agin the girl, but A believe in 
Btickin' t' yer religioc. A Catblik 's a Cath- 
lik, an' a Prodesan's a Prodesan, Ye can't 
get over that, 

Tom. Och, sure, they're aU the same. 
Ye cudden tell the differs atween a Cathlik 
an' a Prodesan if ye met them in the street 
an' didden know what their religion wus. 
A'm not one fur marryic' out o' my reli- 
gion meself, but A'm no bigot. Nora 
Murray 's a fine wumman. 

Rainet, Fineornofine, she'saCathlik, 
an' A'l! nivir consent til a son o' mine mar- 
ryin' her. 

Tom. What are ye goan t' do about the 
Btrack ? 

Rainby. Do! What shud A do? Take 
me share in it the same's the rest o' ye? 
The workin' class has got t" hing thegither, 

Tom, It's a tarribie pity we can't get 
our work done dacently. Nathin' but a lot 
o' fightin' an' wranglin'. 

Rainet, Ay, it's a rotten way t' git 
through the wurl', fightin' over ha'pennies. 
Us wantin' a penny an hour more, an' the 
masters not wiliia' t' give it to us. Och, 
ay, it's wrong. Wrong, wrong! 

[fie-enier Mns. Rainby.] 

Mrs. Rainet. Hugbie's comin' down 
the street, now. He's got O'Hara wi' him. 

Rainey. Huh! more Gathliks I Where's 
that girl gone? 

Mb8. Rainet. A touF her t' go on an' 
meet them. She'll come ia wi" them in a 

Rainet. A'm surprised at ye encouragin' 
ber. ACatJilikl 



Mas. Rainey. Ah, fur dear sake, houl' 
yer wheesht. Ye've got Cathlik on the 



[Enter Hogh Rainey, Michael O'Hara. 
and NoHA. Greetings, surly on the part 
of old Rainet.) 

Mrs. Rainey. Have ye had yer tay, 
Michael? 

Hugh. No, indeed, he has n't, ma, an' 
A brought him here t' have it, 

Michael. Och, now, Mrs. Rainey, don't 
put jerself til any bother. Sure, A'll git 
it whin A go home. 

Mrs. Rainby. It's no bother at all, 
Michael. It 's on'y t' git down a cup an' 
sasser. Sure, there's plenty, an' yer wel- 

MiCHAEL. It's very kind o' ye, A'm 

[HuQH and he sit dovm at tli^ table 
together. Noba and Tom sit 
talking together on the sofa. 
Rainey is seated before the fire 
reading the "Evening Tele- 
graph."] 
Mrs. Rainey. Nora, come up here an' 
have a cup o' tay. 

Nora. Aw, indeed A cuddent, Mrs. 
Rainey, thank ye. A've just had it. 

Hugh. Ah, come on, an' keep Michael 
an' me company. Sure, ye can always 
drink tay. 

Mrs. Rainet. Now, come on. We'll 
not take " no" fur an answer. 

Rainbt. Sure if the girl dussen want 
it . . , 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, you go on readin' 
yer paper. 

[Nora joins Hugh and Michael 
at the table,] 
Hl'qh. Da, we wur wantin' t' have a bit 
o' a talk wi' ye, Michael an' me, about the 
strack. 

Rainby. Wur ye? 

Hugh. Aye, we wur. We wur thinkin' 
ye might give us a great dale o' help. 

Michael. Ye see, Mr. Rainey, ye're a 
man that's held in great respect be the 
men, Catblika an' Prodesaoa. 



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MiCBAEL. Indeed, A know that quare 
an' well, Mr. Rainey. Ye're a man that's 
alwis bin thoi^ht a great dale of. Well, 
Hugh an' me 's bin talkin' this matter over, 
an' we've come til the conclusion that the 
great danger o' this strack is that the work- 
ers may get led astray be religious rancour. 
There's bin attempts made in that direc- 
tion already. 

Hdoh. Aye, did ye see that bit in the 
Telly the night about Nationalists breedin' 
discontent among the peaceable people o' 
Bilffist? 

Rainet. Naw, A've not read it v't. 
[Looking at the -paper]. Is this it? [Hugh 
looks at the paper]. This bit. 

Hugh. Aye, that. [Reads.] "We feel sure 
that the loyal peace-abiding Protestants 
of this, the greatest commercial city in 
Ireland, will not allow themselves to be 
led astray by Nationahst agitators from 
Dublin, and that they will see that their 
true interests lie in the same direction as 
those of their employers. We should be the 
last to encourage religious strife, but we 
would remind our readers, the loyal Orange- 
men of tJIater, that the leaders of this 
strike are Roman Catholics and Home 
Rulers." There's a nice thing fur ye. 
There 's a lot o' fools in this town *11 swallow 
that balderdash like anything. 

Michael. Ye see, Mr, Rainey, it's a 
tact that the leaders are mostly C^thliks, 
but that dussent mane anything at all, 
on'y there's some people'li think that it 
manes that the Pope'U arrive here next 
week an' ordher all the Prodesans t' be 
slaughtered. Now, Hugh an' me thought 
if you wur t' come an' take a leadin' part 
in the strack it wud show that Cathiiks an' 
Prodesans wus workin' han' in han' fur the 
same cAiject. D'ye see? 

Rainey, Aye, A see right enoi^h, 

HcoH. D' ye agree wi' it father? 

Rainbt. A 'm no' sure. It wants thinkin' 
about. 

Mbs. Rainet. What thinkin' does it 
want to Stan' thegithcr? 

Tom. Sure.ye've on'y got to go on the 



platform an' say we're all in the same 

Rainey. What d' you know about it? 
You're on'y a bit o' a lad. 

Tom [sulkily], Mebbe A know more'n 
some people think A do. 

Rainey. Aye, an' mebbe ye don't know 
s' much 33 ye think ye do. 

Mrs. Rainey. Ah, well, mebbe atween 
the two he knows a brave bit. Are ye 
ready for some more tay, Michael? 

MurHABL. Aw, sure A'm done, Mrs. 
Rainey, thank ye. 

Mrs. Rainey- Och, indeed, ye're not. 
Sure that's no tay fur a man. 

Michaeu Aw, now, A've done rightly, 
thank ye. A cudden take another drap. 

Mrs. Rainey, Well, A wunt coax ye, ye 

MiCHAEi,. Aw, A wudden say "no" jus' 
fur the sake o' bein' polite. 

Mks. Rainey. Well, if ye're done, A'll 
jus' redd away these dishes an' things. 

NoBA [rising]. Let me do it, Mrs. Rainey. 

Mm. Rainet. Indeed A will not. Sit 
down there an' rest yerself. Sure ye've bin 
at yer work all day. 

Noba. Well, ye can let me help ye anny 

Mrs. Rainey [smiling al her]. Well, 
mebbe A will. Come on intil the scullery 
an' we'll wash up the dishes while theee 
men have ther crack. 

[Mrs. Rainey and Nora remove 
the dishes and tea-things to ti\e 
scullery: they pass in and out of 
the kitchen to the scullery, during 
a part of the following scene, but 
when all the lea-things have been 
removed, they remain in the scul- 
lery and the noise of dishes being 
washed is heard.] 
Rainet. Where is this meettn' to take 
place? 

Michael. Well, we wur thinkin' o 
St. Mary's Hall. 
Rainet. What! 

HiroH. Sure, what does it matter where 
it takes place? 

Rainet. A Cathlik hall like that where 
Home Rulers always go? 
HuoB. It's the only haU we can gib 



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Sure, we'd take the Ulster on'y they wud- 
den let ua have it. 

Tom. Ye cud have it at the Custom 
House Steps, Ye cud git more people there. 

Michael. We wur thinkin' o' that. 

Eainet. a wudden go anear St. Mary's 
Hall. 

Huea. Wud ye go til the Steps, then? 

Rainey. Aye, A might do that. 

Michael, Then we'll have it there. 
Man, Mr. Rainey, A'm quare an' glad 
ye're willin' till speak. It's a fine thing. 
Think o' it. Here's a chance t' kill bigotry 
and maJce the men o' Bilfast realise that 
ondemeath the Cathlik an' the Prodesan 
there's the plain workin' man. 

Hugh. Aye, that's it. They're jus' the 
same ondemeath. They need the same 
food an' shelter an' clo'es, an' they suffer 
the same wrongs. The employers don't give 
a man better wages fur bein' a Prodesan or 
a Cathlik, do they? 

Rainet. That's true enough. 

Michael. A tell ye, Mr. Rainey, the 
employers have used religion to throw dust 
in wur eyes. They 're eggin' us on t' fight 
one another over religion, so's we shan't 
have time til think about the rotten wages 
they give us. They set the CathUks agin 
the Prodesans, an' the Prodesans agin the 
Cathliks, so's ye can't git the two to work 
thegither fur the good o' their class. Look 
at the way it is in the shipyards. Ye git 
men workin' thegither peaceably all the 
year til tJie Twelfth o' July, an' then they 
start batin' wan another fur the love o' 
God. There's yourself. Ye 're a very 
dacent, intelligent man, but ye're suspi- 
cious o' me, an' ye don't like t' see Hugh 
an' me so chummy as we are, an' all acause 
A'm a Cathlik an' you an' he are Prodesans. 

Rainey. There's a differs. 

Michael. On'y a very little. Look at 
me, A'm like yerself. A'm a workin' man. 
A want t' marry an' have a wife an' childher 
an' keep them an' me dacently, an' A want 
t' sarve God in the way A wus brought up. 
You don't want no mote nor that. 

Tom. Aye, indeed, that's true. People 
are all the same the wurl' over. They jus' 
want t' be let alone. 

Hdoh. Man, da, whia A'm out wl' 



Mickey, A sometimes think what a fine 
thing it 'ud be if the workin' men o' Irelan' 
was to join their han's thegither an' try an' 
make a great country o' it. There wus a 
time whin Irelan' wus the islau' o' saints. 
By God, da, if we cud bring that time back 

Rainey. It's a gran' dream. 

Michael. To see the streets full o' 
happy men an' weemen again, their faces 
shinin' wi' the glory o' the Lord God, an' 
the childher runnin' about in the sun an' 
none o' them sick wi' hunger. Aw, it on'y 
we wud hould thegither an' not be led 
astray be people that want to keep us apart, 

Rainey. It'U niver be. 

[Enter Mrs. Rainey.] 

Michael, Why not? 

Rainey. There's such a quare differs 
atween a Cathlik an" a Prodesan, 

Mrs. Rainey. Och, sure what differs 
does it make so long as ye act up til yer 
religion? 

[Enter Nora,] 

Michael. That's the God's truth, Mrs. 
Rainey. When a man's livin' at his best, 
it duss n't matter how much he starts 
differently thrum other people that's doin' 
the same — he gits quare an' like them in 
the end. 

Rainey, There's a differs. 

Nora. Dear, oh, dear, are ye still 
wranghn' wi' one another? What ones men 
are fur talldn'. 

Mrs. Rainey [pulling her dovm beside her 
on. the so/a]. Nivir mind, dear, let them go 
on talkin'. It keeps them quiet. 

ACT II 

The Scene is the same as in Act I. A 
■week has elapsed. It is the late afternoon. 
Mrs. Rainey is baking bread, there is a 
"griddle" on the fire, on which lie four baking 
soda-farla. Every now and then Mna. 
Rainey leaves the baking-board and goes to 
the griddle to attend to the farls there. 
[Her son Hugh enters.] 

Mas. Rainey, Is that you, Hughie? 

HOGH. Aye. [He draws a chair up to the 



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jire, and takes off his boots. His mother 
places a pair of carpet slippers by his chair. 
He puts thent on.\ Where's me da? 

Mas. Rainey. He's away out some- 
where. He didden say where he wua goan 
an' A didden ask. 

Hugh. Man-a-dear, he spoke quare an' 
well the day at the Steps. There wus quare 
oheera fur him whin he got down aff the 

Mrs. Rainey. Yer father wus alwis a 
good speaker. 

Hugh. It'll be a fine thing fur him t' be 
^le t' say he wus the man that give bigotry 
its death in Bilfaat. The workin'-clasa '11 
nivir be the same again. They know now 
that it diBsen matter whether yer a Cathlik 
or a Prodesan, if ye 're a workin' man ye 're 
bein' groun' down be the masters. 

Mrs. Rainby. Aw, now, Hughie, the 
masters is not as bad as they're made out 
t' be. Sure, it' s no good eaUin' people bad 
names. It's alwis bin like this, an' ye can't 
expec' people t' change sudden. If ye wur 
brought up like them ye'd be the same as 
they are. 

HoGH. They have n't got the troubles 
we have. They nivir see their chiidher 
Btarvin', do they? 

Mhs. Rainey. Naw, perhaps, they don't 
git their trouble jus' like that, but they 
get it all the same. It's jus' a wee bit differ- 
ent on the outside. Wud ye hke a wee drap 
o' tay an' a bit o' new bread? 
Hugh. A '11 wait till ye have it yerself . 
Mrs. Rainey. A '11 not be long now — 
the bread's near done. 

[She hends over the "griddle," turn- 
ing ihe farls, and now and then 
stands them on their sides so as 
to brown them aU over. Some, 
baked, she removes. Her son 
watches her for a while as if 
anxious to speak to her, but un- 
dedded how to begin. She carries 
the last farl to the table.] 
Huae, Will A take the griddle aff fur ye? 
Mrs. Rainey. Aye, if ye plase. Put it 
in the scullery. 

[He Calces the "griddle" out and 
when he returns stands beside her 
OS she baUhes the bread.] 



Mrs. Rainey. Wur ye wantin' t' say 
anythin' to me, Hughie? 

Hugh {moving aieay]. Naw. [He looks at 
the fire for a second or two, then turns sunftly 
to his mother, and puis his arms round her 
neck.\ Ma, wud 5^ be vexed if A wus to 
marry Nora Murray? 

Mrs. Rainey. Vexed, dear? 

\Ske pats him gently.] 

Hugh. Aye. She's a Cathlik. 

Mrs. Rainey. A wtidden be vexed at 
yer marryin' her. A like her quare an' well, 

Hugh. But ye wudden like me t' marry 
a Cathlik? 

Mas. Rainey. A wus wunnerin', Hughie. 
It's strange t' think ye shud be wantin' t' 
marry a-tall. It 's — ■ ye wur a wee lad — 
Ye 're a man, Hi^hie. A har'ly know that 
yit. 

Hugh, It's nacherl fur a man t' marry. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aye, its naeherL It is 
indeiid! But ye wudden belave the strange 
it is for ail that. A wua a young girl when 
A hod you, Hughie, younger nor Nora, 
an' A wus quare an proud o' ye. A . . . 
[She sobs a litOe.] 

Hugh. A've bin a good son t* ye. 

Mus.RiUiEY [drying her tears]. Ye have, 
dear. Ye have that. A'm not eomplainin'. 
It 'e the way o' things. 

Hugh. Ye'U not be vexed wi' me. 

Mrs. Rainey [smiling and kissing hiia]. 
Vexed wi' ye. Sure, no. What wud A be 
vexiid fur? It's yer father. 

Hugh. Aye, A wunner howhe'Utake it? 

Mrs. Rainey. Ye're very fond o' her 
are n't ye, Hi^hie? 

Hugh. Ay el 

Mrs. Rainey. It wud hurt 3^ not til 
marry her? 

Hugh. It wud. 

Mrs, Rainey, Mebbe it ye wur t' t«ll 
him that . . . 

Hugh. She's not goan t' change her 
religion, an' A'm not goan t' change mine. 
If there's any chiidher . . . 

Mhs. Rainey. That'll be the test, 
Hughie. 

Hugh. We'll let them choose tur them- 
selves whin they're oul' enough. Aw, Ma, 
half the religion in the wurl' is like a disease 
that ye get thrum yer father. A'm ft Pro- 



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.n acauae you an' me da are Prodeaans, 
Nora's a Cathlik acause her parents 
Cathliks; an' you and he are Prodesans 
ise your da and ma wur Prodesans, an' 

" se their parents wur 

me til come when a 

Prodesan acause he 

the right thing til be. 



they wur Cathliks 
Cathliks. A'd like 
man wus a Cathlik 
is sowl it 



Mrs. Rainby. Aye, indeed. But 
Hughie, whin ye come til bring up yer 
childher, it's quare how ye don't think like 
that. It's all right fur you an' her — ye 're 
separate ye see; but it's different wi' child- 
her. Ye can't say, this chile's me an' that 
chile's her. They're jus' like as if ye wur 
both lumped thegither. It's very diffi- 

HuOH. Ye're not goaa back on me, are 



ye? 



:. A'm 



J, Rainby. Naw, Hugliii 
A'm on'y tellin' ye that it's not 
ye think it is. 

Hugh [putting Ms arm round her neck]. 
Ma, A just love her. 

Mrs. Rainey. A know, dear. 

Hugh. It's like - . . Huh, A donna how 
t'say it. It grips ye, an ye can't houl' out. 
Aw, an' it hurts. . . . 

Mbs. Rainbt. Aye, it hurts . . . 

Hugh. Ye're a quare good wumman, 
ma. Sometimes A think if it wussen fur 
you A'dnivirastappedhere wi' him. He's 
that hard. 

[A knock is heard on the door and 
the voice of Michael O'Haba 
cries, " Can A come in?"] 

Mrs. Raimby. Aye, come on. 
[Enter Michael.] 

Michael, How are ye all? 

Mrs. Rainby. Ah, sure we're rightly. 

Michael. Is Mr. Rainey in? 

HoGH. Naw, be 's out somewhere. 

Michael. Man, Hughie, we'll have til 
be quare an' careful. That wee man Hart 's 
bin tryin' t' rouse the Or'ngemen agin the 
Cathliks, There wus a bit o' a fight last 
night in North Street, an' a chap cursed 
the Pope. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, dear-a-dear, wkat 
harm did the poor man do him that he 
should go an' curse him7 



Michael. Aye, indeed, ye're right. 
There's goari t' be a meetin' o' the Or'nge- 
men the night; an' Hart'U be there atirrin' 
up bad blood. We must get yer father t' go 
an' stap him. 

Hdgh. Aw, he '11 go all right. Hia 
blood 's up ye know. Once ye set him talkin' 
it's hard t' stap him. Man, ye did the right 
thing whin ye toul' him he might be the 
man til bring bigotry til an end. That 
plazed him greatly. 

Michael. We muaaen let thim git 
fightin' thegither. If we can keep them 
thegither a while in peace, we'll git what 
we want thrum the masters; but if they 
once start fightin' thegither about religion, 
we'll git nathin. There'll be a riot — 

Mas. Rainey. Aw, God forbid. A re- 
member the riot in 1883. Aw, dear-a- 

HuGH. DidycaeeNoraasye wurcomin' 
up the street? 

Michael. Aye, A saw her goan intil a 
shap as A wus comin' along. 

Hugh. Did ye spake til her? 

Michael. A toul' her A wus comin' 
here, an' she toul' me t' tell ye she'd be 
here herself afore long. Is Tom home yit? 

Mrs. Rainey, Aye, he's out in the yard 
washin' it down. 

Michael. A wondher it he'd go an' fin' 
yer father, Hugh? Man, we mussen waste 
a minute. 

Hugh [going to the scullery-door]. Here, 
Tom; come on in a minit, 

Tom [from the yard]. What d' ye want? 

Hugh. A want ye a miait, 
(Tom, in his skirt sUeves and with his 
trousers turned up, enters, carrying a 
broom.] 

Tom. What is it? , , , Aw, Micky, 
how 're ye? 

Michael. Tom, will ye go an' try an' 
fin' yer father tur us? 

Tom. Sure, A doan know where he is. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, ye'U fin' him as 
likely as not at the corner o' the ShankilL 

Tom. a have n't finished the yard. 

Mrs, Rainey. Hughie '11 do Uiat. 

Tom. Why can't he go? 

Mbb. Rainey. Aw, now, doan't ask no 



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questions an' A'U tell ye no lies. Sure, 
Nora's comin' in in a minit. 

Tom. Well, what's that got f do wi' it? 

Michael. Gwon, Tom, A want t' talk 
t* Hugiiie tur a while, 

Tom, That 'b the way. All o' ye shovin' 
ivirything ontil me. Lord save ub, ye'd 
think A wus a chile. Me da talks t' me as if 
A wus a babby. 

Mrs, Rainet. Now, Tom, ye know ye 're 
just wantin' t' go, but ye 're that contrairy 
ye pretend ye don't. 

"Tom. Huh ! Here gimme me coat an' cap. 
[Mna. Kmney fetches his coat and 
cap for kim, and he puis himself 
tidy.] 

Michael. Tell him it's quare an' per- 
tickler, Tom. 

Tom. Aye! [He goes oul.l 

Hdgh, A've toul' me ma about Nora. 

MrcHAEL. Eh! 

Mrs. HjUNET. It's all right, Micky. 
A'm not the soart o' wumman til git an- 
noyed at the like o' that. 

MicHAELi. A know ye 're not, Mrs. 
Rainey. Ye 're a fine wumman. 

Mrs. Rainey, Aw, houl' yer tongue wi' 
ye. 

Michael. Does yer father know? 

HdGH. Naw, not yit, 

Michael. D' ye think he'll min'? 

HuoH. A don't know. A'm afeard . . . 

Mfi8. Rainey. He's a very headstrong 

Michael. What d' ye think he'd do if 
he knew? 

Hugh, A don't care what he does. 

Michael, Ye shudden tatk like that, 
Hugh. Suppoain'he wustotumaginye! . , . 

Hugh. Let hirn turn. Me ma won't 
turn agin me. 

Michael. It might n't be agin you on'y, 
though? 

Hugh- Eh! 

Michael. He might turn ^n the 
Cathliks too? , . , 

Mrs. Rainey. Ye mane he might n't 
help ye wi' the straek? 

Michael, Aye, that's just what Amane. 
Man, Hughie, we mussen run no risks. 
When wur ye goan t' tell him? 

Hugh. A wua goan t' tell him the day. 



He knows A go out wi' her, an' A'm not the 
soart o' felia that goes up the road wi' a 
giri jus' t' pass the time. 

Mrs. Rainey. He's bin aakin' questions 
about her. [Noka knacks at the door, which 
is opened by Mrs, Rainby.] Aw, sure come 
on in. We wur jus' talkiu' about ye, 

NottA [entering]. Wur ye, indeed? Well, 
A suppose ye wur puUin' me t' bits? 

Hdqh. Aye, we just tuk all the character 
ye have away thrum ye. 

Mhs. Rainey. Nora, Hughie 's just toul' 
me about you an' him . . . 

Nora [quickly]. Oh, Mrs. Rainej-! . . . 

Mrs, Rainey. It's all right, dear. A'm 
very glad. [She kisses NoHA.] 

Michael. We wur just talkin' about 
tellin' Mr. Rainey, an' wuuaerin' what he'll 

Mrs. Rainey. Ye'd better not tell him 
til the straek 's over. Then ye '11 be sure he 
can't do no harm. 

Michael. A wus goan til suggest that, 
on'y A didden like. 

HuQH. Maybe it wud be as well. Sure 
it'll on'y be a week or two. 

Mils. Rainey. Now, ye can go on intil 
the yard you two, the pair o' ye, and finish 
claniii' it, an' me an' Nora 'il have a wee 
crack thegither. 

Hugh. Aw, there ye are, ye see. As soon 
as ivir two weemen git thegither tlie men 
have t' go out tar fear they'd be deaved 
wi' the talkin'. 

Nora. Aw, indeed, if we didden talk 
thegither, A'm sure A don't kno' what 'ud 
become o' the men. 

Mrs, Rainet. Yo'rfi right, Nora. It's 
the weemen that keeps the men thegither 
if they on'y knew it. 

Michael. Aw, now, don't talk blether. 

Mrs, Rainey. Go long wi' ye I 

[Michael and Hugh go out laugh- 
ing.] 

Nora. Areyeangrywi'me,Mrs.Rainey? 

Mrs. Rainey. No, Nora, A'm not angry. 
What wud A be angry tur? 

Nora. Me bein' a Cathlik. 

Mrs. Rainet. Aw, dear, ye eudden help 
that anny more nor Hughie eud help bein' 
a Prodesan. A wud be very angry if ye 
wur n't able til luk after him. 



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Nor*, a 'U do that all right. 

Mrs. Rainey. Men make a quare fuss 
about religion an' wan thing an' another, 
but A'm thinkin' it's more important fur 
a wumman t' be able t' make a good dinner 
fur her man nor t' be able t' pray in the 
same church. A'm sure it's the same God 
anyway. 

Nor*. A'U be a good wife t' Hugh. 

Mrs. Rainey. A know ye will. It makes 
a quare differs to a man that. It's a strange 
thing marri^e, 

NoHA. Are ye sorry ye're married? 

Mrs. Rainey. No, A'm not. Me an' my 
man has had our ups an' downs, an' he's a 
bit domineetitt'p but A think A'd do it 
again it A had me life over again. They're 
strange at first, an' they're not very con- 
siderate. They don't ondherstan' weemen 
. , . but ye git to ondherstan' them soon 
enoi^h. Ye know, they're quare oul' hum- 
bugs when ye know them. They think 
they 're that clivir, an' they make us think 
it too, at first; but sure, ye soon fin' them 
out. Och, dew, they 're jus' Uke big child- 
her. When Hughie wua a chile, he wus 
quare an' strong, aii' there wus times afore 
he cud walk whin A cud har'ly houl' him, 
he wud twist about in me arms that much, 
an' sometimes A thought the chile imag- 
ined he wus more nor me match; but ye 
know, dear, A wus takin' care o' him all the 
time. It wus sore work sometimes, an' his 
da nivir seemed to ondherstjin' that A got 
tired out; but sure, A jus' did it all right. 
It's the same wi' my man. He twists about 
an' thinks he's the quare big strongman, 
but A 'm jus' takin' care o' him the same 
as A did o' Hughie whin he wus a chile, 
Ye'U have t' do the same, Nora: it's the 
way o' the wurl' wi' weemen. 

Nora. It's the quare strange thing a 
man La. A've felt that meself. Sometimes 
when A'm up the road wi' Hughie, an' 
A'm listenin' to him talkin', A think t' 
meself A'm quare an' beneath him; but 
jus' when A'm beginnin' t' feel down- 
hearted about it, he'll mebbe say some- 
thin', an' A know then that A'm not be- 
neath him a-tall, that A'm. ... A don't 
knowhow t'say it. . , . It's a quare feelin'. 

Mrs. Rainby, A know, A know. Ivry 



it sometime or other. Ye jus' 
feel that men are not near as clivir as they 
think they are, an' ye're not sarry fur it. 

NoHA. Aye, ye feel quare an' glad. Ye 
wud think mebbe ye'd be disappointed at 
fin'in' them out; but ye're not. 

Mrs. Rainby. They're jus' childher. 
Manny a time, whin A'm sittin' here darn- 
in' the socks, A think that God made uh 
acausc He saw what a chile a man is. He 
jus' made us til luk after them. 

Nob*, a often think that about Hughie. 
There's times an' times whin A jus' want 
t' gether him up in me arms, an' houl' him 
til me tight, an' putt him t' sleep. . . . 

Mrs. Rainey. Aye, Aye! An' yer chile 
hurts ye thrum the minit it's bom til the 
minit it dies. It's not like that wi' a man, 
dear. A man's nivir tied til a chile like a 
wumman. Ye have t' break the cord til 
separate them. It's different in a man. He 
can take a pride in his chile. If it does 
well, his pride is plazed, an' if it does n't 
his pride is hurt; but a wumman feels 
it tuggin' inside her. . . , Aw, dear, dear, 
what are we talkin' like this fur? Sure, the 
men'U be in in a minit, an' we'll have til 
take care o' them, an' not be worryin' 
about wurselves. 

Nora, Wilt A go an' see if they 're fin- 
ished in the yard yit? 
Mrs. Rainby, Aye, do. 

[Nor* kisses her, and Mrs. 
Rainey kugs the girl to her 
tightly. Nora goes out by the 
scuUery, and Mrs. Rainby 
brings an armchair fonnard to 
the fire, and begins to dam sockt. 
In a link tokile the street doer 
opens, and Tom, followed by his 
father, enters .1 
Tom. Here's me da, 
Rainey. Aye, A hear they want me. 
Mrs. Rainey. Yes. They 're out in the 
yard now. Tom, tell them. [Tom goes to the 
scullery and calls the others in.] Nora Mur- 
ray 's wi' them. 

Rainey. What's she doin' there? 
Mrs. Rainby. She jus' come in til have 

Rainey. Huhl It's a funny way o' 
havin' it fur her t' be out ia the yard wi' 



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Hughie, au' you t' be darnin' socks in the 
kitchen. 

Mrs. Rainey, We'vehadit,mEin,dear. 
Wccnien dussen take s' long over their 
talkin' bs men? 



Nora. Good-evenin', Mr. Rainey. 

Rainey [shortly], Good-evenin'. [To 
MicaABi..| Ye wur waJitin' me? 

Michael. A wus. 

Nora. A '11 have t' be goin' now. 

Mrs. Rainby. Sure, ye 're in no hurry. 
Stap an' take a drap o' tay wi' us. 

Nora. Aw, indeed, A must go home. 

Mrs. Rainey. Ye 're sure? 

Nora. A am, indeed. 

Mrs. Rainey. Well, mebbe, Hughie'll 
see ye home. 

Huoe. A wuB jus' goin' t' si^est that. 

Rainey. Sure, it's not dark. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, man-a-dear, don't 
ye know at this time o' year it gits dark 
quare an' sudden. A'm sure, Michael 
wants t' have a quiet talk wi' ye. Tom, A 
want ye t' go roun' til the grocer's fur me. 
[Hugh and Nora get ready to go.] 

Tom. Can't Hughie do it on the way 

Mrs. Rainey. Naw, he can't. 

Tom. It's alwis me. 

Rainey. Do as yer ma fells ye, an' don't 
give no back answers. 

Tom. Luk here, da, A'm not goin' til be 
spoke t' like that. 

Rainey. Houl' yer tongue, will ye? 

Mrs. Rainey. Tom, dear^ come here. 

Hugh. Well, we'll go now. A'llbeback 
afore long, Michael. 

NosA. Good-night t' ye, Mrs. Rainey. 

Mrs. Rainey. Good-night t' ye, Nora. 

Nora. Good-night t' ye alL 

All. Good-night. 

Tom. Wait aminit, an' A'Ucome wi'ye. 

Mrs. Rainey. Naw, A'm not ready fur 
ye. lE:ni Nora and Hugh.) 

Tom [quietly to his mother]. Ye might ha' 
let me go wi' them. It wud ha' bin com- 
p'ny. 

Mrs. Rainey [very quietly]. Have n't ye 



Mi<;habi.. Ye heerd tell o' this meetin' 
o' the Or'ngemen, A suppose? Hart's com- 
in' thrum Dublin til address it. 

Rainey. Aye, A met the Worshipful 
Master on the Shankill the day, an' he 
toul' me about it. 

Michael. Hart'l! stir up btttemeBa 
at ween the Cathliks an' the Prodeaans if 
he's let have his way. 

Mrs. Rainey, A don't like that wee man. 

Tom. He makes his living out o' breedia' 
bigotry. 

Rainey. What d' you know about it? 
Let me tell you he's a man that's done ' 
good work fur the Prodesan religion. 

low. It's not good t' be settin' men 
fightin' wi' wan another. 

Rainey. Houl" yer tongue. Ye dunna 
what j'e're talkin' about. 

Tom. Weil, if A'm not wanted here, 
A'm goin' out. It's no pleasure t' me t' 
stay here wi' a lotta nirpin' goin on. 

Mrs. Rainey. Ye can jus' go til the 
grocer's now. |Po(s him on the hack,] Nivir 
mind, Tom. Sure, he dussen mane half he 



[She speaks in undertones to TOM, 
who presently puts on his cap 
and goes out.] 
Michael, D' ye think ye cud go up til 
the meetin' Mr. Raiitey, the morra, an' 
counteract Hart's influence? Ye know the 
men think a lot o' yer opinion, 
Rainey. A might go. 
Michael. Ye will, wun't ye? A can't 
go meself. A'm a Cathlik, an' Hughie can't, 
he's not an Or'ngeman . . . 

Mrs. Rainey. It wud be a pity t' spoil 
the good effect ye've made at the last 

Michael. It wud, indeed, Mrs. Rainey. 
We're doin' so well . . . Aw, if that man 
Hart wud on'y stay away? . . . It's enough 
t' break yer heart whin ye've bin tryin' as 
hard as ye can til do somethin', an' some- 
one comes whin ye've near done it, an' 
pushes it over. 

Rainey. Aye, it is that. 

Mrs. Rainey. The quare good work in 
the wurl' that's bin spoiled be liars an' 

Michael. It's tarrible t' think, Mr. 



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Bainey, that you an' me ehud be aittin' 
here doin' wur beat t' putt things right, an' 
all the time there's a man comin' thrum 
Dublin til spoil ft ail. 

Mbs. Rainet. They're alwis comia', 
them people, be express trains. They travel 
qimre an' quick. 

Michael. Ye won't disappoint us, Mr. 
Bainey? 

Rainey.A'U go all right. We'Useewho 
has the most infiuence, me or Hart? 

Michael. Aw, there's not much doubt 
about that. 

Mhs. Rainev. Well, now ye 've done yer 
talkin' 3^ '11 have til have aomethin' til ate. 
Come on an' help me til lay the table, 
MichaeL 

Michael. Sure, an* 1 will gladly, Mrs. 
Ratney. 

[He goes up and hel-pe her to bring 
the UMe Sorward. Mrs, Rainbt 
ptiia a pair of slippers at her 
husband's {eel.\ 

Mrs. Rainst. Here, let me take yer 
boots off, 

Rainey. Aw, A'll do that meself. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, g' long wi' ye, ye 
ouid footer. Ye'd be breakin' the laces or 
somethin'. 

[She urdacea his hoots, whilst 
Michael spreads the table-cloth.] 

ACT III 

It ia the late afternoon of the next day. 
Mrs. Rainey is sitting in the armchair in 
front of the fire, darning socks. She is singirtg 
softly to heTsetf. The street'door opens and 
her hii^yand enters. 

Mrs, Rmnby, There ye are, then, 

Rainey, Aye! Where's the lads? 

Mrs. Rainey. A don't know. They're 
out somewhere. Wur ye spakin' agin the 
day? 

Rainey, A wus spakin' twice the day. 

Mrs. Rainet. Man, dear, ye're gettin' 
the quare orator. Sure, ye'U be in Parlia- 
ment wan o' these days it ye go on at that 
rate. 

Rainey [not displeaaed]. Aw, now, hould 
yer wheesht. 

Mrs. Rainey [hiding up tiie socks to 



view]. Butsureye'll juBtwearouttheaocks 
the same whativir ye are, A nivir saw such 
an a man for holes in his socks as you in me 
born days. A'm nivir done mendin'. 

Rainey. Aw, well, aure it's pastime fur 
ye. Whin ye've nathin' else til do, ye can 
ait down an' take yer aise an' darn a few 
socks. It's the quare aisy time weemen has 
be men. 

Mrs. Rainey, Och, indeed, ye know 
Uttle about it. Will ye be ready fur yer tay 
yit? 

Rainey, A wilt in a wee while. Is the 
washin' come home yit? A muat have a 
clane "dickey" fur the Lodge the night. 

Mrs. Rainey. An' what are ye goin' t' 
do at the Lodge the night? 

Rainey. Sure, didden ye know A wus 
goin' til spake til the Or'ngemen the night 
so's tilcounteracttheinfluenceo' that man 
thrum Dublin? 

Mrs. Rainey. Och. aye,Afurgot. Three 
spaches in wan day . . . aw, dear, dear, 
what a dale o' argyin' men have til have. 
Yer washin 's on the bed. 

Rainey, A'll jus' go an' putt meself 
tidy, an' mebbe be the time A come down 
ye '11 have the tay ready? 

Mas. Rainey. Aw, ye'ri 
yer tay. Ye can wait awhile til the others 
come in. A'm expectin' Mickie an' Nora 
in wi' Hughie and Tom til tay. 

Rainey. Thon girl's here brave an' often. 

Mrs. Rainey. An' what wudden she be 
here fur? She might as well be here as 
annywhere else. 

Rainey. Well, mebbe it's all right, but 
man-a-dear, if A thought any thin' wus 

Mrs. Rainey, Och, man, b 
runnin' after girls. If a boy wt 
ried til iv'ry girl he courted, m 
a Mormon. 

Rainey. Aye! [He stands in silence for a 
moment or two and then crosses to his wife's 
side.] It's a quare solemn thing, marriage. 

Mrs, Rainey. Och, it's not as solemn as 
people make out. Sure, we're not solemn? 

Rainey. It's solemn all the same. It's 
the pickin' an' the chooain' ... ye have t' 
be careful. A man an' a wumman ought t' 
be very much the same afore they marry. 



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Ye have t' live wi' wan another, an 
there's a big diEfers atweeti ye, it's quar? 
an' bad. 

Mas. Rainey. Sure, some people 
that different thrum each other they ni 
find it out. 

Rainey. Aw, but there's some thii 
like religion . . . 

Mrs. Rainey. Now, now, religion 1 
take care o' itself. Gwon an' put on ; 
dickey fur dear sake, or ye '11 be makin' yer 
three spaches t' me afore A know where 
Aam. 

Rainby [patting her on the head, and 
laughing]. Hey, ye're the funny ouldwum- 
man. [He goes up the stairs.] 

Mrs. Rainey. Aye, an' ye 're the funny 

Rainey [speaking over the bannisters]. 
We're the funay ould couple thegither. 

Mrs. Rainey. G' long wi' ye, 

Raihey. We've had the brave times 
thegither, have n't we? 

Mh8. Rainey. Sure, it's not bin so bad, 

Rainey. An' we'll have the quare good 
times yit. There's Rne work t' be done in 
the wurl', smoothin' things out. Aw, it's 
gran', it's gran', an" it's a privilege fur me 
til be able t" do it. 

Mrs, Rainey. Indeed, that's the truth 
ye're sayin', on'y there's raanny a man 
spoils his work wi' temper. 

Rainey. A'm not a bad-tempered man. 
A'ra the moat considerate man ye cud 
think o'. Luk at the way A let them 
Cathliks come intil the houae, an' me own 
son walkin' up the road wi' one o' them. 
Ye wiidden call that bigit«d wild ye? 

Mas. Rainey. Aw, that's not much. 
Sometimes ye have tii choose atween yer 
work an' yer life. It wud be the quare bad 
thing til choose yer life. 

Rainey. Aye! 

[He comes dovm the stairs o^ain 
and stands before the fire.] 

Mrs. Rainey. D' ye think ye'd let any- 
thin' Stan" atween ye an' the work ye're 
goin' t' do? 

Rainby. It's a gran' work, t' make 
peace. Aw, when ye come t' think o' it, 
it's awful the way the wurl's bin goin' on 
up til now. Men fightin' wi' wan another. 



an' proaperin' out o' wan another's mis- 
fortune. War all the titne. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aye, an' the wuri' not a 
ha'penny the better fur it. 

Raisey. Ye're right. Ye're right. Ye 
are, indeed. An' ye've on'y got til putt out 
yer ban's til wan another, an' grip them, 
an' it's all over. 

Mrs, Rainby, An' yer enemy issen yer 
enemy a-tall. Aw, that's quare, t' be seein' 
enemies where there is no enemies. 

Rainbt. Aye! 

Miw. Rainby. A wondher what ye'ddo 
if ye wur in a fix atween yer rehgion an' yer 
desire t' make peace. Somethin' wud have 
t' give way, 

Rainey. Aw, A'd do the right thing, A 
can t«ll ye. [He goes up the stairs.] Ye can 
trust me. A'm not a chile. A'vegotabit 
o' wit in me head, A can tell ye. A'm not 
the one til be misled. 



Tom. Hi, ma, come on quick. Ye're 
wanted. 

Mrs. Rainby. Whativir's the matter 
wi' ye? 

Rainey \from the stairs]. Can't ye con- 
trol yerself, an' not be runnin' about like a. 
wiJ' thing. 

Tou. It's Mickey! He's got his head 
cut open. 

Mas. Rainey. Aw, Lord bliss us. 

Rainey. What's tiiat ye say? 

Tom. a lot o' wee lads wus sing^n' a 
party tune, an' cursia' the Pope, an' he 
tould thim they shudden do the like o' that, 
an' a drunk man wus goin' by, an' hit him 
on thij head wi' a belt. He's in Martin's 
shop. Come on quick, an' luk after him. 
Sure, he'll bleed til death. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, now, don't put yer- 
self out s' much. Sure, people don't bleed 
til death as aisy as that. Get me me shawl 
fur dear sake. 

Rainby. That's bigotry fur ye. A man 
has t' be drunk afore he 'd do the like o' that. 

Tom. Be the luk o" the people in this 
town, an' the way they go on, ye'd think 
they wur alwis drunk. Here's yer shawl, 
ma. Come on, quick. 



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Mrs. Rainby. Did ye go fur tJie doctor? 

Tom. Naw. 

Mrs. Rainbt. Well, why didden ye go 
fur him afore ye come fur me. Run now, 
will ye, an' A'U go on til Martin's? 

[Exit Tom.] 

Rainey. That's right. Poor lad, bring 
him back here. Will A eome wi' ye? 

Mrs. Rainby. Now, what wud ye do 
that fur? Ye'd be makin' apaches til the 
doctor, an' gettin' in the way. Gwon an' 
put on yer dickey, an' try an' be daceat- 
lukkin' whin A come back. 

Rainet. That drunk man ought t' be 
putt in jail. 

Mrs. Rainev. There'smany does worse 
nor him whin they 're not drunk, an' they 're 
putt in Parliament, A wun't be long. 

[She goes out ^ickly.] 
[Rainey stands on the stairs for a while in 
thovght, and then goes up to the bed- 
room, ehuUing the door noivUy behind 
him. There is quiet in the kitchen for 
a link while; then the door opens and 
HuQH OTid Nora enter.] 

Hugh. Sure, come on in. 

Nora. Och, no, A wun't come in now. 

Hugh. Och, come on. There's no wan 
in. [He goes to the scuUery and shoiUs into 
the yard.] Are ye in, ma? [As there is no 
response, he returtis to the kitchen.] Sure, ye 
might as well stay now ye 're here. A ex- 
pect me ma's just away out til the shop. 

Nora. Is yer da in? 

Hdqh. Aw, he's out somewhere, A 
s'pose. He's quarely taken on wi' the 
notion o' spakin'. Sure, he'll be goin' on 
makin' spaches fur ivir if wur not careful, 
jus' hke wan o' them men ye see in the 
maritet selUn' ould clo'es, or a member o' 
Parliament on the Twelfth o' July, whin 
he's half drunk an' near out o' hia min' wi' 
the noise o' the drums. 

Nora. Aw, now, ye shudden be makin' 
fun o' yer da. 

Hugh. A'm not makin' no fun o' him. 
A'm beginnin' t' respect him. 

Nora. Och, but sure ye alwis did that 
ivir since ye wur a wee lad that height. 

[She lets her hand fall to the level 
of her krtee.] 

Hugh. Naw, A wua aleard o' him; but 



A 'ra beginnin' t' respect him. It'saquare 
thing that whin a man begins t' respect his 
da. Sure, sit down. 

Nora [sitting down on the sofa]. Hughie. 
[She takes him by the liand and he sits down 
beside her.] D' ye think yer da '11 be very 
angry about you an' me? 

HuaH. A suppose he'll storm an' rave 
awhile, but sure if he sees we're deter- 
mined he'll give way ao' make the best 
o'it. It's no good shoutin' at what ye can't 

Nora. Ye won't let him separate us, 
Hughie? 

Hugh. Separate us. Naw, A wun't let 
him do that. Man, dear, it wud take a 
quare man til separate us now. 

NoHA. An' ye wun't let them tempt 
ye? . . . 

Hugh. What wud they tempt me wi', 
fur dear sake? 

NoBA. Mebbe they'll be tellin' ye t' 
lave me fur the sake o' Irelan'. Aw, A 
know, A know they'll do it. Mickie'U try. 
Sure, he dussen care what happens s' long 
as his plans fur Irelan' is all right. He'd 
sacrifice his own da an' ma fur that. 

Hugh. It's fine t' have a spirit like that. 
Not til let anythin' come atween ye an' the 
thing ye want. 

NoBA. Wud ye give me up, Hughie, fur 

Hugh. Naw, A wudden. 

[She dutches him tightly to her.] 

Nora. Aw, my man, A cudden let ye go. 
A'd hould on til ye if the wurl' wus til faU 
in anondher wur feet if A didden let go. 
[She kisses him eagerly.] A don't care fur 
nathin' but you. ■ . . 

Hugh. A love ye, too, Nora. 

Nora. A'm ashamed til be talkin' like 
this, but A can't help it. A'd let Irelan' go 
til hell fur ye, Hugh. 

Hugh, Aw, don't be sayin' that. 

Nora. It's true, it's truel When A 
think mebbe they'll take ye thrum me, 
A go near mad wi' fear. 

Hugh. They'll nivir do that. [He puts 
his arms lightly around her.] It's a quare 
fine thing t' be in love wi' you, Nora. 
Sometimes whin A'm thinkin' about it A 
can't ondherstan' it. A'm just like a man 



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wi' somethin' inside him that wants t' come 
out, an' can't fin' the way. Ye know what 
A mane, don't ye? A want til tell ye, but 
A don't know how, an' A just stan' still 
wl' me tongue clackin' In me mouth like a 
dumb man's. [The door of Uie bed-room opens 
and Rainet appears at the lop of the sUtira. 
Be is dressed in his Sunday clothes. Al the 
sound of the voices he stops and listens.] A 
want til tell iv'rybuddy A'm in love wi' 
ye, an' goin' t' marry ye. A feel prouder 
nor the King o' Englan' or the Lord Mayor 
o'BiUast. [He jumps up excitedly and drags 
ha- up betide him. Rainet descends a few 
steps, quietly, listening.] There'll not be a 
happier man in Irelaa' nor me when A'm 
married t' ye, da or no da. 

[He kisses her again and holds her 
closely to him.] 

Kainey. What's that ye say? [They 
start apart from one another, and look up at 
the old man, who regards them silently, and 
then, vnthout speaking, descends into the 
kitchen.] Did A hear ye sayin' ye wur 
goin' til many this wumman, 

Hugh. Ye did! 

Rainet [to Noba]. Ye're goin' til take 
him, A s'pose? 

NosA. A am. 

Rainey. Ye're a Cathlik are n't ye? 

Nora, Yes, A am. 

Raisey. Issen it agin yer religion t' 
marry a Prodesan? 

Nora. It can be done, but A don't care. 

Rainey. Will ye turn Prodesan it ye 
marry him? 

Nora. Naw, A wuii't, 

Hugh. An' A'U not ask her nayther. 
What call wud she have til do the like o' 
that when she helaves in it? 

Rainet. If she belavea in it, what does 
she want wi' a man that dussen, will ye tell 
me that? 






sfurn 



Rainey. What'scarin' tilyersowl, man. 
If ye damn yerself in the nixt wurl' for the 
pleasure o' a wumman in this, what good '11 
tiat do ye? Man, man, think what ye're 



. A've 









Rainet. Ye're goin' til marry her? 



Hugh. Aye, A am. 

Rainbt. Aw, what a fool A've bin. [To 
Nora.] Ye trapped me nicely. A wus t' be 
the tool in yer haa's, an' do yer work fur 
ye, an' whin A wussen lukkin' ye wur t' 
marry me son. You an" that man O'Hara 
. . . an', what a fool A've bin. They wur 
right whin they said the strack was a 
Papish plot [furiouslyl. Aw, wumman, git 
outa Die house, will ye, iitore A strack ye 
down? 

Htjoh. My God, da, if ye touch her, 
A 'II brain ye. 

Rainet [calming himself with a great 
egort]. Aye, ye've learned yer lesson welL 
Ye've turned agin yer own father. That's 
her, A s'pose? 

Nora. Indeed, indeed, A nivir . . . 

Rainet, Don't spake til me, wumman. 

Htjob. Don't talk tD her like that. 
She's not the dirt aneath yer feet, 

Rainet [to Noba, quietly]. Ye know 
ye 'd nivir be happy thegither. Ye ought t' 
marry a man o' yer own faith. It's not 
right t' be marryin' out o' yer religion. 

Nora. A want him . , , 

HriJH. An' A want her, too. An' A'U 
not give her up. 

Rainey. What 'ud be the good o' ye 
marryin'. Yer frien's'U forsake ye. [To 
Nora.) All yer own people'U cast ye ofE 
acauseye married a Prodesan, an' A'U nivir 
own him fur a son if he marries a Cathlifc. 

Hugh. A can't help that. 

Rainet [to Nora], Ye wudden ruin him, 
wud ye? Ye'd be turnin' him agin his 

NoaA. A'd be havin' him meself. 

Rainey. Are ye thinkin' on'y o' yerself? 
Have ye no thought fur no wan elae? 
There's no love where there's selfishness. 

Hugh. What are you thinkin' of? On'y 
an ould superstition. Ye've somethin' in 
yer min' about Cathliks an' Prodesans, an' 
ye're thinkin' o' that all the time. Ye're 
not thinkin' o' her an' me, an' ye don't care 
about us bein' happy. Ye're alwis batin' 
an Or'nge drum. 

Rainet. That 's the quare disrespectful 
way t' spake t' yer father. A brought ye 
intU 1;he wurl' an' rared ye well, an' this 
is the thanks A git. 



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Hugh. Sure, A didden aak ye t' bring 
me intil the wurl? 

Rainey. A've bin a good father t' ye. 

Hugh. D' ye want credit for that? 
Sure, ye had t' be. Ye did what ye had t' do 
an' ye expect me t" have no will o' me own 
in return fur it. Ye've bullied me since A 
wus a chile. 

Rainby. A've not bullied ye. A've bin 
stam wi' ye fur yer own good. 

Hugh. Luk at tie way ye talk t' Tom, 
He dare n't open his mouth fur ye, but 
what ye call him out o' his name, an' make 
him luk hke a fool afore strangers. D' ye 
want t' know why we've stud it so long? 
It's not fur your sake, but acause o' me 
ma. We'd agone long ago if it hadden bin 
fur her. Yer stamness an' yer good trainin' 
wua orv'y buliyin', that's all it wus. 

Rainey. There's no good talkin' t' ye, 
ye've bin led astray. A'll ask this wum- 
msn if she's satisfied wi' what she's done. 
ITo Nora.] Ye've turned him agin his 
father, an' made him say things til me that 
he'll rue til his dyin' day. A wondher if 
ye 're satisfied? 

NoKA. Aw, ye're a hard man, Mr. 
Rainey. Ye know A've nivir said a word 
again ye. A've alwis stud up fur ye. 

Rainey. Will ye give him up? 

NoBA. Ye want me t' do somethin" A 
can't do. He'stheon'y man A ivir thought 
oT. A can't give liim up. A need him. 

Rainby. It's a terrible thing fur a wum- 
man til come atween a man an' his parents. 

Hugh. Sure, they're doin' it iv'ry day. 

Nora [to Mb. Rainey]. A'll be a good 
wife til him. A will, indeed. Ye '11 nivir 
r^ret lettin' him marry me. 

Rainey. A'ranotlettin'him. He'adoln' 






I wiU. 



Nora. Aw.butye willlethim, wun'tye? 

Rainey. If ye'li turn Prodesan A will. 

Nora. Naw, A wun't do that. A can't 
give up me religion. 

Rainey. Can't ye give up him, then? 

Nora. A can't give him up ayther. 

Rainby. Then A've no more t' say. 
He'll lave this house the night onless be 
gives ye up. A can't have him here. 

Nor*. Aw, don't say that, Mr. Hainey, 

Rainet. a don't want no more t' say 



t'ye. A've done wi' ye. Ye've putt anger 
in me son agin me. 

Hugh, a don't care. It'll be no grief til 
me til lave the house. A'm a man, an' not 
a chile, an' A'il choose me wife where A 
like, an' not where you like. A'm not 
afeard. 

Rainby. Them that dishonours their 
father an' their mother'U rue it in the Last 
Day. 

Hugh, A'm not afeard. A'll git lodgin's 
the night, A'll not trouble ye wi' me 
comp'ny anny longer. [Nora ineepa help- 
tessly.] Don't be eryin', dear. Sure, this is 
on'y a bit o' bother that'll not last fur ivir. 
We knew it 'ud have t' come some time. 
It's no good complaiiiin' acause it's come 
sooner nor we thought. We'll be married 
the quicker. 

[The door opens, arui Mrs. Rainby /oHowed 
by Tom and Michael, enters.] 
Mrs. Rainby [to Michael]. Now, come 
on in an' rest yerself. [To her husband.] 
Fur dear sake, what's the matter wi' ye. 
Ye'd think ye'd seen a ghost ye're that 

Rainey [pmnling to Michael]. Sen' 
that Fenian out o' my house. 

Mrs. Rainey. Eh! 

Rainey [vnth great anger]. A say, "sen' 
that Fenian out o' my house, A tell ye. 

Mrs. Rainby. Och, ye're not right the 
day. Ye're beside yerself wi' all that 
spache-makin'. Take no notis o' him, 
Mickie, but come on in an' lie down on the 
sofa, fur sure indeed it's a long rest ye're 
needin' more nor annythin' else. 

Rainey. D' ye hear me, wumman? A'll 
have no Fenians here. 

Mrs. Rainby. Ye must be crazed, man. 
What's the matter wi' ye? Tom, git yer 
father a drink o' watt«r. 

Rainey. Sit down an' listen t' me, an' 
mebbe s^'U ondherstan' what A mane. 
Hugh 's goin' til marry that girl. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, dear, that's a dread- 
ful thing, isBen it? 

Rainby, Aye, it is. She's a Cathlik. 

Mrs. Rainey. Och, is that all ? A thought 
be the way ye wur talkin' she wus a mur- 
derer an' a brute baste rowled iatil wan. 



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Rainey. It's quaren funny, issen it? 

Mrs. EAiNBr. A wondher if ye 'II ivir 
lamaiiny sense? What differs does it make 
what religion she is, s' long as she's a good 
wife til him. D' ye think if A cudden cook 
yer dinner fur ye an' keep the house elane 
an' bring yer childher up, it 'ud be anny 
consolation t' ye that A wus a Prodesan, 
A can Bee ye goin' about the house, an' it all 
dirty, tellin' yerseif it dussea matter about 
the muck acause yer wife's a good Or'nge- 
wumman. Och, man, don't talk blether. 

Eainey. Ye wud think t' hear you, tJie 
on'y thing in the wurl' that matters is atin'. 

Mrs. Rainby. It's all that matters wi' 
most men. Sit down, now, an' try an' be 
sensible. Shut the door, Tom, an' keep the 
draught oft Michael, Sit down all o' ye. 
Come here, Mickie, an' sit be the fire. [To 
Rainey.] Luk at his head. That's what 
you qiiare mtelligent men do til show the 
divir ye are Aw there s times »hen a 
wiunman s sick o men an their follj 
Can't ve go through the wurl without 
hammenn wan another like bastes o the 
fiel'. 

Raine5 \e re on his side 

Mas. Raines. Am on no side, A wum- 
man has no right t' be choosin' sides. 
There's right wi' iv'ry man, an' there's 
wrong, too. A'm fur him, an' A'm fur you, 
too. Ye're both right, an' ye're both 
wrong, but sure ye 're just the same t' me 
whether ye are or not. How are ye now, 
Mickie? 

Michael, A'm all right, thank ye, 
Mebbe, A'd better be goin'? 

Mrs. Rainby. Ye'll stay where ye are. 
Now, what's the bother wi' ye all? 

Rainet. a come down the stairs an' A 
saw him kissin' her. 

Mrs. Rainey. Ye'd no business t' be 
watchin'. 

Rainey. A wussen wat-chin'. A didden 
know they wur there. A heerd him tellin' 
her he wud marry her after the strack wus 

Mrs. Rainey. Well, that's sensible 
enough. Ye wudden have him marry her 
while it's on, wud ye? 

Rainet. A don't want him til marry her 
aptalL 



Hugh. It's not what you want . . . 
Rainey. Don't spake t' me again. Ye're 

Mrs. Rainey, Aw, now, ye can't cut 
off yer relations like that. He's yer son 
whether ye like it or not. 

Rainey. A wun't own him. 

Hdgh. Nobuddy wants ye to. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, now, Hughie, don't 
be talkin' t' him like that. Sure, he's yer 
father. 

Hugh. That's no rayson why he should 
bully me. 

Mrs, Rainey. Naw, but it's an excuse. 
Mebbe, ye'll be like it yerseif wan day? 

Tom. Lord save us, there's alwis a row 
goin' on in this house. 

Rainey. Hould yer tongue, will ye? 
Don't let a word out o' yer head. A've 
enough trouble on me min' wi'out you 
addin til it 

Mrs Rainet. Does it ivir occur til ye, 
John that Tom's not a wee lad anny 
moref He i a brave big fella, now. 

Rainet He has ao wit. 

Tom Aje, A have. A lot more'n ye 
think on J ve nivir let me git a word out 
o me, but ye near snap the head a' me. 
A'm gettin' quaren tired o' it, A tell ye. 

Rainey. Aye, you'll be lavin' me, too. 
That's the way. Bring up yer childher well, 
an' spare tfcem nathin', an' they'll turn on 
ye in yer ould age. 

Mrs. Rainby. Mebbe, if ye wur a wee 
bit more o' a frien' til them, an' a wee bit 
less o' a father, they wudden turn on ye so 
readily. Ye're alwis wantin' til make them 
do things acause ye're their father, instid 
o' waitin' fur them til do it o' their own 

Hugh. Ye may as well know all, ma. 
A've bin turned out. A'm goin' t' luk fur 
lodgin's. 

Mrs. Rainey, Who's turned ye out? 

HcTGH. Me da. 

Mrs. Rainbt. What right had he t' turn 
ye out? 

Rainey. A'm master o' this house, 
amn't A? 

Mrs. Rainey. No, ye're not. There's 
no master here. It's my house, as much as 
yours. Ye didden ask my lave til turn him 



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out, an' ye wun't git it. D' ye hear? If ye 
turn him out, ye turn me out, too? 

Tom. Aye, an' me. 

Rainby. Aye,ye're allagin me,but A'li 
do me duty, A'm aginaman marryin' out 
o' his religion, an' A '11 stick til that no 
matter what happens, [To Noba, who is 
crying.] Aye, ye may well cry. Ye've 
brought great trouble on this house. A 
might ha' known, that whin A mixed meself 
up wi' Cathhks. There's no good can come 
o' that. Ye wur all quaren clivir, wur n't 
ye? Ye wudden say nathin' about this til 
after the strack. Ye'd use me fur yer pur- 
poses, an' be stabbin' me in the badf all the 

Michael. There nivir wus no thought o' 
that in my min'. If ye think this is plasin' 
til me, Mr. Eainey, ye 're quaren mistaken. 
A saw a chance o' unitin' the people o' 
Irelan' agin, an' A've worked fur it an' 
Buffered fur it. Man, man, what's your 
grief til mine? You're thinkin'o'ason, an' 
A'm thinkin' o' a nation, fflan, ye wun't 
let this Stan' in the way. Think o' the gran' 
wurk ye wur goin' til do. 

Rainet, a 've done wi' it. 

Michael. Naw, naw. Ye can't go back 
now. Sure, there's many waitia' fur a sign 
thrum you. We've set wur hopes on ye, 
Ye're not goin' til destroy them, are ye? 

Rainet. A've done wi' it, A've done 
wi' it. 

Mrs. Rainet. Man, ye don't know 
what ye're sayin'. Ye wudden stap now, 
wud ye, whin ye've near done the work? 

Rainey. a tell ye A've done wi' it. 

MiCBAEL. Mr. Rainey, think fur a minit. 
Ye know this is just the critical time. A 
strong man can do what he likes wi' the 
people now. They're in the half-an'-half 
State. Ye can make them wurk thegither 
or ye can make them fight thegither. 
You're the man can do that. Hart hassen 
got the influence you have, Anythin' he 
does, you can undoaisily. He's goin' about 
now talkin' o' Popery an' priest-rule, an' 
urgin' the Prodesans til break the strack 
acause it's directed be Cathliks. S'long 
as you stick up fur us, there's an answer 
til that, but if ye desert us, there 't 
all the good we've done will be 



Rainet. A betave that 1 



L Hart's 



MicaAEL. What! 

Rainey, a belave he's right. It is a 
Papish plot, the strack. How can A belave 
anythin' else whin A see it goin' on in me 
own house. Me son taken thrum me be a 
Papish wummac! 

Michael. Aw, man, ye don't mane that? 

Rainet. A do. 

Michael. Ye'll not ondo iv'rything fur 
the sake o' that? 

Rainet. A'Udonomore. A've done wi' 
it all. A'm not goin' tdl the Or'nge Hall 
the night. 

Michael. Aw, but ye've promised, 

Mrs. Rainey. Ye can't go back on yer 

Rainet. A can, an' A wiil. 

Hugh. It's a mane thing t' do. Ye think 
ye'll stap Nora an' me thrum marryin' 
acause o' the strack, but ye wun't. 

Nora. Aw, A nivir thought o' that. 

Michael. Wiil 3^ go if they give wan 
another up? 

Rainet. A'm not sure. A har'ly know 
where A am, yit. 

Michael. Man, there's no time t' be 
lost. Will ye go til the Or'nge Hall the 
night an' spake agin Hart if they agree not 
tJi marry wan another? 

Rainet. How'U A know they'll kape 
their word? 

Michael, Ye'U have til trust them. 

Rainet. An' if they betray me? 

Michael. Ye'll have til lave them til 
God. Sure, treachery be anny wan else is 
no rayson fur treachery be you. 

HnoH, Ye need n' bothw yeraelf, we'll 
not agree til that. 

Michael. It'snot you A'm goin' til ask. 
Nora, ye know what this means, don't ye? 
Ye know what we're workin' fur? 

Nora. Aye. 

Michael. It's a bigger thing nor you 
are, issen it? Ye know it is, for all ye won't 
answer. It's Irelan' agin you. Irelan' 's a 
bi^er thing nor you an' Hugh an' me an' 
all o' us towled thegither. 

Nora, A don't belave it. A'm in the 
wurl' t' be happy, an' A'll be happy wi' 



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Michael. What'll yer happiness be till 
3^, if it manes the destruction o' a nation? 
Nora. A don't care. 
Rainey. Have ye no thought fur others? 
Nor*. No, A have n't. On'y fur him an' 

Hugh. Ye've no thought yerself fur 
anythin' but yer biin' superstitions an' yer 
bigotry. You're a man til talk about sacri- 
fice, whin ye'd destroy Irelan' fur yer 
damned bigotry. 

Michael. Don't be talkin' like that. 
Sure, it's his faith. He can't go back on 
his faith. 

Hugh. A can't go back on Nora. 

Michael. Will ye give him up, Nora? 
It's no good talkin' t' him. He's demented 

Nora. No, A won't give him up. A 
Deed him, A need him. 

Michael. What's your need ti! the 
wurl's need? 

Mbs. Rainey. Man, Michael, when yer 
as ould as A am, 3^ '11 know that yer own 
need is the wurl's need. It 's love that Nora 
an' Hugh needs, an' it's love the wurl' 
needs. Ye're wrong tilbesuggestin'partin' 
til them. Can't ye see, they're doin' the 
very thing ye want Irelan' t' do. It's 
Cathlik an' Prodesan joinin' ban's the- 
gither. It's quare ye shud be wantin' til 
separate them. 

Michael. It's acause A want a bigger 
joinin' o' hands. It's not enough fur a man 
an' a wumman til join ban's. A want til see 
the whole wurl' at peace. 

Mrs. Rainey. Ye'll on'y git that be 
men an' weemen bein' at peace. Him an' 
her, Mickie, are bigger than the wurl', if 
ye on'y knew it. That man o' mine can't 
see f ardher nor churches an' Or'nge Lodges, 
an' all the time there's men an' weemen 
stan'in' about, waitin' fur somethin' til 
bring them thegither. 

Michael. Aw, but selfishness is the 
curse o' the wurl'. An' it's the curse o' 
Irelan'morenotanny other country. They 
wur alwis thinkin' o' tiieirselves, the men 
an weemen that might ha' saved Irelan'. 
Whiniver a man's come near deliverin' 
Irelan', a wumman 's stepped in an' de- 
stroyed him. It's alwis bin the way since 



the beginnin'. Alwis, alwis, alwis! There'll 
be no salvation fur Irelan' til a man is bom 
that dussen care a God's curse fur weemen. 
They're hangin' about the neck o' the Ian', 
draggin' her down. 

Mrs. Rainey. Ye're blamin' ua fur the 
follies o' men. Is Nora to blame acause my 
man's a fool? 

Rainey. A'm no fool. A must stick til 
the right. It's onnacherl fur a man an' a 
wumman til live in the same house an' 
worship in a differ'nt church, 

Mrs. Rainey. Sure, if they can live in 
the same Ian' they can live in the same 
house. It's on'y igner'nce an' wickedness 
an' men wi' foul tongues that makes it hard. 
John, ye'll be a good man, an' go til the 
Or'nge Hall the night, an' do yer best t' 
keep the peace. 

Rainey. A can't go. 

Hugh. A'U go meself. A won't belave 
that the men o' Irelan' will let bigotry de- 
stroy them fur ivit. 

Michael. Ye can't go. Ye're not an 

HudH, A'il git in somehow. If A 've 
spoiled the work, A can mend it again. 

Michael. If ye had on'y waited awhile. 
In a week or two, it 'ud ha' bin all over, 
an' we'd ha' won. Aw, Mr. Rainey, can't 
yc think o' the danger o' loain' iv'rythin' 
be yer action ? Ye run the risk o' perpetu- 
atin' bigotry an' losin' all we've struck fur. 
Man, ye can't do the hke o' that. 

Rainey. A'U do what ye want if he'll 
give her up. A wun't go anear the Or'nge 
Hall if he dussen. 

Hdoh. An' a wun't give her up, a tell ye. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, the wurl' is bein' de- 
stroyed be headstrong men. [To Rainey.] 
Will ye go til the Lodge the night, an' lave 
this over fur a while. [To Hugh.] Ye'L 
promi.'ie not til marry her til after yer da's 
had time til think it over? 

Hugh. Aye, A'U do that. 

Rainey. There 's nathin' til be thot^ht 
over. He's determined til marry her, an' 
she 's determined not til change her re- 
Ugion. There's nathin' more til be said. 
Ye'll git me t' go t' the Lodge the night 
ondher pretence that mebbe they'll change 
tJieir min's, an' ye know as well Be yer 



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livin'p they won't, [Potnling to Nora.] Luk 
at that wumman's face. She majies til 
mairy him. 

Michael. Wud ye sacrifice a!l the rest 
o' ua fur them? That's what ye'ro doin', 
mind ye. There's a whole townfull o' us, 
an' ye'U let us go t' wreck an' ruin fur wan 



Mrs. Rainey. Aye, indeed, ye're just 
Bs bad as they are. 

Rainby. Aye, ye'll all make me out in 
the wrong. Ye give me no credit a-tall. 
A'm on'y ftn obatinit ould man t' ye. Ye 
nivir think A'm in earnest about me re- 
ligion. 

Tom. a nivir knew bein' in earnest wus 
anny excuse fur makin' a fool o' yerself. 

Rainet. Hould yer tongue. 

Tom. Naw, Awun't. A've bin putt upon 
long enough. Ye're an ouid fool, that's 
what ye are; a damned ould tool. 

Rainey. Ye young scoundrel ■ . . 

Mrs. Rainet. Tom, dear, don't ye 
think ye might go out fur a wee walk? 

Tom. Naw, A don't want a wee walk. 
A'm alwis sent out fur a walk whin there's 
a bit o' bother. A'm a man the same as 
he is. 

Michael. Aw, Tom, don't make it anny 

Mbs. Rainby. Now, just sit down, the 
whole o' ye. Dear-a-dear, it's the quare 
hard work tur a wumman, keepin' men at 
peace. If there wuasen the like o' us in the 
wurl'ye'dbe kickin' waa another iv'ry five 
minits. Now, what are ye goin' t' do about 
it all? Are ye goin' t' the Lodge, John? 

Rainey. Naw, A'm not. 

MnB. Rainey. Is that yer last answer? 

Rainey. Aye, it is. 

Mrs. Rainey, It's a quare pity o' ye. 
Ye'U be sorry fur this, A tell ye. 

Rainet. A can't help that. 

Mna. Rainby. Well, Miekie, an' what 
are you goin' t' do? 

Michael. A don't know. A'U have til 
think o' somethin'. A'm all throughover. 
What wi' the slap on the head an' this 
suddent trouble, A don't know what A'm 
doin'. A'm near broke wi' grief. A'm the 
one feels it most. A'vedreamto' this since 
A wus bom, an' now it's near done, this 



comes an' destroys it. My God, Mrs. 
Rainey, what a wurl'. 

Mrs. Rainey [■patting him on the back]. 
Aw, keep yer heart up, Miekie. Mebbe, 
it'll be all right. A wish there wus Or'nge- 
weemen, A'd go meselt in his place. 

HucH [jumping up!- A'm not an Or'nge- 
man, but A'U go. Hart issen nayther, an' 
if they'll let him in, they'll let me. A'U 
spake til them, an' putt a stop til Hart's 
nonsense, A'm the one'U do it. A'U not 
let it be said the peace o' Irelan' wus de- 
stroyed be the Raineys, 

Rainey. Aye, ye'U do a quare lot. Ye 

Hugh. A can spake as good as you.' 

MnB. Rainet. Aw, can't ye control yer 
tongues? Ye do too much spakin' atween 
ye. Ye 're consated about yer spakin'. 

HroH. A've nivir spoke afore, but A'U 
spake the night. A wiU, A declare til God. 
A '11 put a stap til b^otry. 

Rainey, WUl ye teU them why A've re- 
fused til have annythin' more tU do wi' it? 

Mrs. Rainet. What wud he be doin' 
that fur? 

Rainey. Naw, iv coorse not. Ye'U de- 
save them as ye desaved me. D' ye think 
anny good'il come out o' that? 

Hnen. It's noan o' their business who 
A marry. 

Nora. A can't ondherstan' why a man 
an' a wumman can't git married wi'out 
iv'ry wan goin' out o' their wita? 

Mrs. Rainet. Och, they alwis do, dear. 
Sure,it'8the way the wurl's made. Ye have 
t' putt up wi' it. 

Tom, It's a funny soart o' wurl' then. 

Hugh. A don't belave the Or'ngemen 
are such tools as ye make out. They're 
brave sensible men, a lot o' them, if they 
wur on'y let alone be them that's supposed 
t' be their betters. 

Rainey. Will ye teU them why? 

Hugh. It's not necessary. It's nathin' 

Rainet. Then A'!l go meself an' tell 
them. We'll see who can spake the best 
then? 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, ye cudden go out on 
a night like this. Sure, ye're gettin' ould. 

Rainby. Lave me alone, will ye! Ye're 



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all coDspirin' agin me, but A '11 bate ye yit. 
Gimme me coat, an' let me git out o' this. 

Michael, Ye '11 have blood on yer ban's, 
Mr. Raiaey, if ye do that. 

Rainet. a don't care, A tell ye. A'll 
putt a stap t' this. 

Mrs. Rainet. Aw, give him his coat, 
an' let him go, the headstrong ould man. 

Hugh. A'll be left whin he comes back. 

Tom. Aye, an' so will I. 

Rainey [to Mrs. Rainey]. A , 
you'll be gone, too? 

Mbs. Rainey. Naw, A think A'il be 
here. God help ye, ye'll n 
luk after ye. 

Rainey, Nathin'U etap me. A'vemade 
up me min'. Good-night t' ye. [To Nora.) 
Mebbe ye're satisfied, now, me fine girl? 

Mits. Rainey, lave her alone. Are n't 
ye content wi' the bad work ye've done 
wi'out proddin" her wi' a knife? G' long wi' 
ye, an" do yer dirty work, an' don't stan' 
there hurtin' a girl that nivir done you no 

Rainet. She tuk me son thrum me. 
Mrs. Rajnet. G' long wi' ye, an' make 
yerspache. 

[Rainet stands for a moment ir- 
resolute, then goes out of the 
house quickly. Michael covers 
his face mlAhia hands. There is 
a silence, except for the sobbing of 
Nora.] 
Tom. a think A'll go out for a walk. 
Mrs. RAiNEY.Aye, do, dear. [ExitToM.] 
Michael. A'll go home. 
Mrs. Rainey, Ye'll not let this upset 
ye, Mickie? Ye'll just go on tryin', wun't 
ye? 

Michael. It's the sore work, Mrs. 
Rainey. 

Mrs, Rainey. Aye, but, sure, it 'ud be 
far sorer not tJl do it. 
HoGH. A'm quare an' sorry, Miekie. 
Michael. It's a pity, Hughie. It's a 
quare pity. 
Hugh. We'll not let this bate us. 
Nora. No.wewim't, It's us now, that '11 
have til do the work. We'UaEdoit. A'll 
go an' talk til the men in the street, an' 
mebbe they'll listen til me, A'd 'a' given 
the wurl' if this hadden happened. 



Michael. It's the quare hard job til 
stap bigotry wance it's started. It runs 
like lightnin' an' them that tries til stap it 
has weights hangin' on them til keep them 
back, A'm afeard it's no good. 

Mrs, Rainey. It'll be no good, if ye're 
afeard. Ye must keep yer heart up, that's 
the way o' the wurl'. 

Nora. Aye, that's true. Good-night t' 
ye, Mrs. Rainey. 

Mrs, Rainey [pvUing the girl close to 
her and kissing her very U;nderly], Ye'll be 
a good wife til him, dear, wun't ye? 

Nora. A wiii, indeed. 

Mrs. Rainey. Good-night, dear. Good- 
night, Hughie. When ye want me, just run 

HuniH. A'!l come back whin A've got 
lodgin'a fur me thin^. 

Mrs. Rainey, A'll have them ready fur 
ye. Aw, dear, A wish ye wum't goin'. 
[Hugh put3 his arms abovl her and hugs her 
tighlly.] God bless ye, dear. 

Michael. Whativir happens, Mrs. 
Rainey, A'm not sorry A knew you. 

Mrs, Rainey, Ah, well, now, that's 
Bometbin' til be livin' fur. Sure, the best o' 
us can't do no more nor that. 

Michael. Good-night t' ye. 

Mrs. Rainey. Come in in the mornin' 
an' A 'U dress yer head fur ye. 

MicHAEL. Aw, ye're brave an' kind. A 
cudden trouble ye. 

Mrs. Rainet. Sure, it's no trouble 
a-talL Good-night, Michael. Good-night, 

Hugh. Good-night, ma. 

[Exeunl Hugh, Nora, and Michael.] 
Mrs. Rainet. Aw, dear, it's a trouble- 

[She draws her chair up to the fire 
and resumes her darning.] 

ACT IV 

/( is ten. days later. The kitchen sftows 
signs of unusual agitation on the part of the 
occupants. The imndow-shviiers are closely 
barred, and the street door is viell fastened. 
Outside is heard the noise of people shouting; 
occationaUy a atone strikes the shuttera or the 
door. Mrs. Rainet and Noha are sitting 



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try the fire. John Eainet strides up and 
dawn the kitchen fioor, viilhout speaking. 
Now and then he stops and listens to the noise. 
A stone rattles on the window, and a loud 
voice is heard shouiing, "Bring out the 
Fenians." 

Mrs. Rainey, Ye wud think they wur 
wil' savages thrum the heart o' Africa, the 
way they're goin' on. 

NoBA. Sure, they're just demented with 
rage, an' they don't know what they're 
doin'. \Another stone strikes the shutters.] A 
wondher how many stoaes they've clodded 
at the house the day? 

Mrs. Rainey, Are them two upstairs all 
right? 

Nora. A 'II call up til them. [She rises 
and passes in front of Rainby; he ignores 
her. She calls up the stairs.] Hughie, are ye 
aU right? 

Hugh [caUing from abore]. Aye, we're 
all right. 

Nora. Ye'd better not be showin' yer- 
seU fur fear they clod a atone at ye. 

[The noise of breaking glass is 
heard. Noba runs up the stairs, 
crying otrf.) 

Mrs. Rainey [going to the staircase]. 
Come on down, the whole o' ye. 

Hugh. Sure, we're all right. It's on'y 
the winda they've broke. The peelers are 

Mrs. Rainbt. Aw, thank God. Mebbe, 
they'll go away now? 

[She returns to her seat.] 

Rainey. It's like the Day o' Judgment. 

Mrs. Rainey. A'm quare an' sorry fur 
ye, John. It's not very pleasant til have 
the like o' this on yer mind. 

Hainet. A'm not ashamed o' anything 
A'vedone. A'd do it again. But it's tar- 
rible all the eame. 

Mbs. Rainey. Yer conscience an' yer 
principles causes a great dale o' trouble til 
other people. 

Rainey. A don't repent, A tell ye. Ye 
think ye '11 prove me in the wrong acause 
o' the riot, but A don't care if there wus 
fifty riots wan on the top o' the other, A'm 
right, an' A'd do it again. 

Mrs. Rainby. It's quare t' think o' ye 
goin' down that night, an' stirrin' up strife. 



It wus a tarrible thing t' do, John. Ye 
made the quare lot o' bad blood that time. 
An' a lot o' it'll be spilt afore this is over. 
[A volley of stones rattles on the shutters.] 
Fur dear sake, d' ye hear that. Ye'd think 
they had a grudge agin the windas, the 
way they're batterin' them. 

[Ton comes down stairs, hurriedly.] 

Tom. The peelers are goin' til charge 
them wi' their batons. 

MRiS. Rainey. Aw, God help us. There'll 
be broken heads in a minit or two. 

[Wilder cries are heard outside.] 

Tom. The end of it'll be we'll have to 
flit out o' this town. No wan '11 ivir spake 
ti! us again. A met Geordie M'Crackea a 
day ago, an' he nivir as much as lukked at 
me. It was the quare cut. 

Mhs. Rainey. Mebbe, he didden see ye ! 

Tom. Aw, he saw me all right. He passed 
me by as if he didden know me. Me an' 
him was chums thegither. . . . It's brave 
an' hard on me that nivir done nathin' til 
be losin' me frien's, acause me da won't 
have a Cathhk in the family. [To his 
father.] Mebbe, ye're sorry now fur what 
ye've done? 

Rahjby. A'm not sorry fur nathin'. 

Tom. Well, ye ought t' be then. 

Mrs. Rainey. All right. Tom, ye 
needin' go on talkin' about it. Sure, there's 
things ye feel inside ye aven when ye 
won't let on til anny one else. Ye nivir 
know what's in a man's heart. 

Tom. a '11 go tit Glasgow after this is 
over, or mebbe til Englan'. They don't 
make a lot o' damned fools o' themselves 
about religion over there. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, but mebbe, they 
have their own way o' bein' foolish! Ye 
nivir know. 

[The noise outside has groum wilder.] 

Tom [going up the stairs again]. Tliere'll 
be some '11 be sorry afore this day is done. 

Mas. Rainby. Och, aye, indeed there 
wUl. [ExU Tom.] 

Rainey. He's right, that lad; we'll have 
t' lave the town when it's over. 

Mhs. Rainey. It 's hard t' be lavin' the 
place ye wur born an' bred in when ye're 

Rainey, Aye. 



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Mrs. Rainey. But A suppose ye're 
right? 

Rainbt. a am. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aye, yealwis thought that, 
[They do niri speak to one another for a 
moment] Why don't ye make it up wi' 
Hughie an' Nora, Ye know they come 
here specially this momin' til be frien's wi' 
ye. It issen their fault the riot broke out 
the day. Ye've notaaid aword til aythir o' 
them since they come in, though they're 
ready an' willin' til make it up. 

Rainet. They're not here be my will. 

Mrs. Rainey. Naw, that's true. But, 
sure, it's no good houl'in' out agin what 
can't be helped. Ye might as well putt a 
k" df n ye as not. They'll be married 
n ee hile, an' A wudden. like us to be 
b d n n wi' them when they'll mebbe 
n d u3 most. We're gettin' ould, John, 
duasen become the ould to' be head- 
g unforgivin'. 

R E A have n't another word t' say 
ab A've said all A've got t' say. A 

Mrs. Rainby. Ye can alwis putt in an- 
other word if ye want t', an' make it all 
different. 

Rainey. A don't want to. 

Mas. Rainey. God forgive ye fur a 
headstrong man, John. 

Rainey. That's atween Him an' me. 

[Hugh comes down the sloirs.] 

Hugh. It's sickenin' t' be watchin' 
them. The peelers is batin' them over the 
heads wi' their batons. A wish t' God it 



[Noi 



Nora. Aw, Hugh, there's a Cathlik 
crowd comin' down the street, an' the 
peelers is atween them. There'll be mur- 
dher in a minit. 

[Tom cnen ovlfTom the room, above, 
"Hi, Hughie, come up quick."] 

HnoH. What is it? 

Tom [ap-pearing at the head of [Ae stairs]. 
There 's a lot o' Cathlike come an' Miekie 'a 
at the head o' them. 



Rainey. Aw, A tould ye, didden A? 
Tom. He 's tryin' t' git them t' go away, 
but they're not takin' no notis o' him, A 
saw wan o' them hittin' him wi' a stick, an' 
shovin' him out o' the way. 

Mrh. Rainey. It's no place that fur a 
man tjiat manes well. 

[HoGH runs up the slairs gmcHy, 
followed by Notul. Mrs.Rainbt 
ivaHs a litlh turtle, and then goeg 
after them. Rainey is left (done 
in the kitchen. He sits down in 
front of the fire and starea steadily 
into it. The noise of the riot is 
now intense. After a little while, 
Tom comes to the head of the 
stairs and shouts to his foUier.] 
Tom. The sodgers are comin'. The 
peelers caJi't houl' out agin the crowd. 

[Rainey does not reply. Tom goes 

back again. Above the murmtir 

of the voices outside, the voice of 

Michael is heard.] 

Michael. Fur God's sake, boys, go 

home, or there'll be bloodshed. 

[There are loud shouts of " Fenian" 

and "To hell with the Pope," 

and the noise of stones being 

thrown. Mhs. Rainey and 

NoHA come back to the kitchen.] 

Mrs, Rainet. He'll be killed if he stan's 

there anny longer. A 've a good min' t' 

open the dure an' let him in. 

Rainey. Ye'll not let no more Cathhks 

Mrs. Rainey. What harm wud that do 

ye? 

Rainey, There's enough o' them here. 

Nora. Ye'd better not open the dure. 

The crowd 'ud git in, an' dear on'y knows 

what they'd do. 

[The noise of tramping soldiers is 
heard, and an agitated voice reads 
monotonously outside the unn- 

NoRA. What's that man doin'? 
Tom Lfrimi stairs]. There's a magistrate 
outside readin' the Riot Act. 
Nora. The Riot Act! 
Tom. Aye, there'll be shootin' after that. 
lAn officer's votes is h^ard giving 



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Mrs. Rainey. They'll on'y use blank 
kertridgea t' frighten them. Mebbe they'll 
go home now? 

[The Magistrate is heard calling 
upon the crowd lo diaperee. 
There is a roar of voices in reply. 
The Magistrate's voice is heard 
in a luU, shtmling, " The soldiers 
wUl shoot if you don't go home 
quietly." There is a rattle of 
stones on the street, and much 
shouting. Then the offieer is 
heard giving orders, and the 
noise of rifles being fired foUows.] 
Nora. Aw,HolyMothero' God, they're 
shootin' 1 

Mas. Rainey. Dear, oh, dear, oh, dear! 

Hugh [from the top of the stairs]. It'a all 

right, ma, they just ahot over their heads. 

There's no wan hurt. It's scared them a 

bit, an' some o' them is runnin' home. 

Mrs. Rainey. Come on, down, Hugh, 
and bring Tom wi' ye. It's mebbe not safe 
up there. 
Hugh. Aw, it's safe enough, 

[The uproar continues.] 
NoKA [who is slightly hyeterical\. No, 
don't go back again, Hugh. A'mafeardtil 
death. 

HoQH [coming down the stairs and putting 
his arm round her]. Sure, there's nathin' til 
be afeard o'. It'll be all over in a minit or 
two. [More stones are Uiroum.] 

Tom [from above]. They've knocked a 
soldier senseless wi' a brick. 

Nora. Aw, I know it'll be death til 
some. Don't go away thrum me. Me 
heart's in me mouth wi' fear. 

Htjoh. There now, ye 're al! right. 
NoBA. A've not bin the same since the 
men bate ye at the Custom House steps 
that day. ... A lost me nerve when A saw 
them atrikin' ye. 

[Rainbt, who stUl paces up and 

down the room, passes her, and 

she starti vrilk terror.] 

Hugh. What ails ye? 

Nora, It's nathin'. It wub like a 

shadow. . . . \She sits doum on the sofa, and 

■puUs him down, beside fter.] A'llbeall right 

in a minit. On'y don't go away thrum me. 

A want ye near me. Aw, Hu^ie, Hughie, 



it wus our fault. We shud 'a' done what 
yer da wanted us t' do. We'll nivir know 
no peace after this day's work, but misery 
ti! we die. A'd give the wurl' if on'y A cud 
ondo it all. 

Hugh. Ye mussen take on like that. 
Sure, it can't be helped. 

Eainby. It cud 'a' bin helped. 

Mbs. Rainey. Ye wur all a' headstrong. 

Nora. A wiah A cud putt things back 
again. Is there nathin' we can do? 

Rainey. There's nathin' ti! be done. 
It's too late. 

Nora. There'll be men kiUed, an' wee- 
menweepin'. Itwusourfault. It's us they 
shud be shootjn' an' not them. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, dear, hould yer 
tongue. Ye mussen say the like o' that, 
[She puts her arms round Nora.] Sure, 
don't be cryin' like that. It's not your 
fault the wurl 's like it is. 

Nora. A can't help thinkin' it's me's t' 
blame. Ye min' what Michael said about 
men bein' ruined be weemen . . . 

Mrs. Rainey, Aw, sure, men alwis putts 
the blame on us whativir happens. 

Nora. If Acudstapit Awoud doanny- 
thing at all. Mebbe, iif A wua til go out til 
them, an' tell them it was my fault, they 'd 
go home I . • . 

Hugh, Och, Nora, dear, don't be talkin' 
wil'ly. Ye're not near yerself. 

[The uproar continues, and, after 
the word of command is given, 
the rifles are fired again.] 

Nora. Aw, they're shootin' again. 
Don't let them, don't let them. 

Tom [front the top of the stairs]. It's all 
right, "rhey've not hit annyone. They're 
on'y tryin' to frighten them. It's blank 
fcertridges they're usin'. A wish t' me 
goodness, Mickie 'ud go on home. They're 
throwin' stones at him as well as the 
soldiers. 

Mrs. Rainet. Try and sign til him to 
go away. 

Tom. A'U try, butsure he'll notseemo, 
and not heed me if he does. 

[He goes back into the room.] 

Httgh. a wish we cud get him in here. 

Meb. Rainet. Yer da says he'll not let 



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Hugh. Da, ye'll not keep it up anny 
longer, will ye? 

Rainey. a don't know ye. Ye're a 
stranger in tliis house. Yoa an' that wum- 
man. [He points to Noba-I 

Hugh. A day hke this, da, is no time f ur 
ill-feelin'. 

Rainby. There can be nathin' else on a 
day when men clod stones at my dure. D' ye 
hear that? Clod stones at my dure. There 
nivir wus the like o' that done til me afore. 

HooH. Well, it can't be helped now. 

Rainey. Ye can't get out o' yer punish- 
mentthatway. Yer reward's outside: men 
mad wi' rage, an' sodgers shootin' them 

Hugh [mth rising anger]. An' whose fault 
ie that? There wudda bin noan o' this if 
ye hadden bin so headstrong and bigot«d. 

Mrs. Rainey. Aw, don't begin it all 

NoBA. Yer da's right, Hugh. It's me 's 
t' blame. Ye wud 'a' given me up if A'd 
'a' iet ye. A'il nivir be happy again wi' 
this on me min'. 

HuQH. Ye'll be all right, dear. Sure, 
well go away . . . 

Nora. Ye can't go away thrum yerself. 
A wish A cud die. 

Miia. Rainey. Fur dear sake, Nora, pull 
yerself thegither. It's no way t' be goin' 
on, that. There's a dale t' be thought o', 
an' ye'll need all yer wits about it. 

NoiiA. It A wus t' die mebbe it wud 
putt things right? 

Hugh. What's the good o' talkin' about 
dyin'? It'll be time enough t' do that when 
ye're ould. 

Rainey. If ye 'd thought o' this afore ye 
done what ye did . . . 

Mrs, Rainey. Aw, if we'd all thought 
o' this aforp we done what we did . . . 
Sure, stap talkin'. We're all mabin' ex- 
cuses tor wurselves, an' Mickie's outside 
tryin' t' make pace. Fur shame. 

[TAe uproar slUl eonliniiea and the 
voice of the officer is heard calling 
on the people to disperse. He 
threatens to tise ball-cartridges if 
they do not do eo.] 

Tom [coming to Uw lop of the stairs]. Hugh , 
they're goin' to shoot in earnest now. A 



heerd the officer sayin' they wud if the 
crowd wudden go home. Holy smoke! 
Somebuddy'll be shot dead. Michael's 
runnin' about wi' blood streamin' down 
his face, tellin' the men t' go home, an' 
whinivir he says a word til wan o' them, 
they strack him in the face. Aw, it 's awful 
the way they're goin' on, it is, indeed. 

Nora. Aw, Mickie'U be shot. Ye'll not 
Jet them shoot him, Hugh! He's done 
nathin'. It wus ua, it wus us. They can 
shoot me if they like. 

Mrs. Rainey. Ye 'd better bring him in, 
Hugh. God save us ail, will this day nivir 
end? 

Raivby. It'll end when it's too late. 

[Hugh goes to the door and open» it. 
The -uproar is horrible; stones 
are thrown at him.] 

Hugh. Hi, Michael, fur God's sake come 
on in er that, or ye'll be killed. [Loud cries 
of "Come Old, ye Fenian ye," and "Doien 
vn' Popery."] Come on, Michael! [The offi- 
cer speoJcs again, "For Heaven's sake, men, 
go honu:, or I'U order the soldiers to fire on 
you." A vnld volley of stones is the reply <4 
the CTOiod. The officer shouls to his men, 
"Present arms!"] Aw, God save us, they're 
goin' t' shoot now. Michael, ye tool, come 
on in, or they'll kill ye. 

NoHA. What d' ye say? They're not 
goin' t' shoot in earnest, are they? 

Hugh [coming back to the kilchen, and cov- 
ering hit face with his hands]. Aye, they are. 

Nora [starts up]. They mussent shoot 
the people down. ]The officer speaks again, 
"For the last time, men, will you go homef 
I don't want to order the soldiers to shooL" 
Again the crowd yeUs with rage, and throws 
stones ol the soldiers.] No, no, no, don't 
shoot them! It wus my fault, A tell ye. 
Stap, stap. [She runs into the street.] Stap, 

[As she rushes into the street, the 
Eoldiers fire. She is seen to stag- 
ger a little, and look up suddenly, 
as one does in amaiement. She 
cries, " Aw, Hugkie, A'mshot!" 
and tries to catch the lirttel of the 
door, bui falls across the porch. 
The soldiers are heard charging 
the mob.] 



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Mhs. Rainey. Aw, what's happened, 
what's happened? 

Hugh [running to NoKA, and calching her 
up in his arms], Nora, Nora, what's hap- 
pened ye? My God, they've murdhered 
her. [Michael appears in the doorway.l 

Michael. What did ye let her out fur? 
Tom, Tom, come quick an' help us wi' her. 

Tom. a knew somethin' like this wud 
happen, iro Ais/aWier.] Mebbe, ye 're sat- 

MiCHAEL. Run fur a doctor, will ye? 

[Tom goes out of the house quickly. 
A surly noise c<mtinites outside, 
now rising, now falling. A po- 
liceman appears in the doorway, 



and some of the neighbours. 
Hugh and Michael lift Nora 
in their arms, and carry her to 
the sofa. The policeman enters 
with them, shutting the street door 
behind him.] 
Hugh. Nora, ye 're all right, are n't ye? 

NoBA Ifeebly]. Don't be cryin', Hugh. 
It wus right t' shoot me. It wus my fault. 
A'm quaren glad. 

Raikey [as if dreaming]. Awuaright. A 
know A wus right. 

Mrs. Rainey [weeping a little, and pal- 
ling him gently]. Aw, my poor man, my 



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KING ARGIMENES AND THE 

UNKNOWN WARRIOR 

By lord DUNSANY 



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e of Oil pubiishers. LilUe, Brown b- 



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King Argimenes 

Zahb, a slave bom of si 

An Old Slave 

A YouNC Slave 

Slaves 

King Darniak 

The King's Overseei 



S!.aves of King Darniak 



The Idol-Guard 
The Servant op thi 
Queen Atharlia 
Queen Oxara 
Queen Cahafra 
Queen Tiiragolind 
Guards and Attendant 

Time: A lona !i 



Queens of King Darniak 



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KING ARGIMENES AND THE 
UNKNOWN WARRIOR 

THE FIRST ACT 



The dinner-kouT on the slave-fields of King 
Dakniak. King AROrMENES is sitting upon 
the ground, bowed, ragged and dirty, gnamng 
abone. He has uneoviJi hair and a dishevelled 
beard. A battered spade lies near him. Two 
OT three slaves sit at back of stage eating raw 
cabbage-leaves. The tear-song, the chant of 
the Umi-bom, rises at intervals, monctonous 
and mournful, coming from distant slaiie- 

KiNQ Argimenes. This is a good bone; 
there is juice in this bone. 

Zarb. 1 wish I were you, Argimenes. 

King AnGiMENEa. I am not to be envied 
any longer. I have eaten up ray bone. 

Zarb, I wish 1 were you, because you 
have been a king. Because men have pros- 
trated themselves before your feet. Be- 
cause you have ridden a horse and worn a 
crown and have been called Majesty. 

King Abgimbnes. When I remember 
that I have been a king it is very terrible. 

Zakb. But you are lucky to have such 
things in your memory as you have. I have 
nothing in my memory — Once I went for 
a year without being flogged, and I remem- 
ber my cleverness in contriving it — I have 
nothing else to remember. 

King Argimenes. It is very terrible to 
have been a king. 

Zarb. But we have nothing who have 
no good memories in the past. It is not 
easy for us to hope for the future here. 

King Argimenes. Have you any god? 

Zarb. We may not have a god because 
he might make us brave and we might kill 
our guards. He might make a miracle and 
give us swords. 

King Argimenes. Ah, you have no 
hope, then. 

Zabb. I have a little hope. Hush, and I 



will tell you a secret — The King's great 
dog is ill and like to die. They will throw 
him to us. We shall have beautiful bonef 

King Argimenes. Ah! Bones. 

Zarb. Yes. That is what I hope for. 
And have you no other hope? Do you not 
hope that your nation will arise some day 
and rescue you and cast off the king and 
hang him up by hia thumbs from the palace 
gateway? 

King Argimenes. No. I have no other 
hope, for my god was cast down in the 
temple and broken into three pieces on the 
day that they surprised us and took me 
sleeping. But will they throw him to us? 
Will so honorable a brute as the King's dog 
be thrown to us? 

Zarb. When he is dead his honors are 
taken away. Even the King when he is 
dead is given to the worms. Then why 
should not his dog be thrown to us? 

King Ahgimekeh. We are not worms ! 

Zarb, You do not understand, Argi- 
menes. The worms are little and free, white 
we are big and enslaved. I did not say we 
were worms, but we are like worms, and if 
they have the King when he is dead, why 

King Argimenes. Tell me more of the 

King's dog. Are there big boaes on him? 

Zabb. Ay, he is a big dog — a high, big. 

King Argimenes. You know him then? 

Zarb. Oh, yes, I know him. I know him 
well. I was beaten once because ot him, 
twenty-five strokes from the treble whips, 
two men beating me. 

King Argimenes. How did they .beat 
you because of the King's dog? 

Zarb, They beat me because I spoke to 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



him without making obeisance. He was 
coming dancinK alone over the slave-fields 
and I spoke to him. He was a friendly great 
dog, and I apoke to him and patted his 
head, and did not make obeisance. 

Kino Argimenes. And they saw you 
doit? 

Zahb. Yes, the slave-guard saw me. 
They came and seized me at once and 
bound my arms. The great dog wanted me 
to speak to him again, but I was hurried 

King Argimenes. You should have 
made obeisance. 

Zarh. The fjreat dog seemed so friendly 
that I forgot he was the King's great dog. 

King Abgimenes. But tell me more. 
Was he hurt or is it a sickness? 

Zarb. They say that it is a sickness. 

King Argimenes. Ah, then he will grow 
thin if he does not die soon. If it had been 
a hurtl — but we should not complain. I 
complain more often than you do because 
I haid not learned to submit while I was 
yet young. 

Zasb. K your beautiful memories do 
not please you, you should hope more. I 
wish I had your memories. I should not 
trouble to hope then. It isvcryhardtohope. 

King Abgimgnes. There will be nothing 
more to hope for when we have eaten the 
King's dog. 

Zarb. Why, you might find gold in the 
earth while you were digging. Then you 
might bribe the commander of the guard 
to lend you his sword; we would all follow 
you if you had a sword. Then we might 
bike tlie King a^d bind him and lay him 
on the ground and fasten his tongue out- 
side his mouth with thorns and put honey 
on it and sprinkle honey near. Then the 
gray ants would come from one of their 
big mounds. My father found gold once 
when he was digging. 

King Argimenes [pointedly]. Did your 
father free himself? 

Zarb. No. Because the King's Overseer 
found him looking at the gold ajid killed 
him. But he would have freed himself if 
he could have bribed the guard. 

[A Prophet uialks across the stage 
i}0 guards."] 



Slaves. He is going to the King. He is 
going to the King. 
Zabb. He is going to the King. 
King Augimenes. Going to prophesy 
good things to the King. It is easy to 
prophesy good things to a king, and be re- 
warded when the good things come. What 
else should come to a king? A prophet! A 
prophet ! 

[A deep bell lolls sloidy. King 
Argimenes and Zarb pick up 
their spades at once, and the old 
slaves at the back of the stage go 
down on their knees immediately 
and grvh in the soil mth their 
hands. The v>hile beard of the 
oldest trails in the dirt as he 
works. King Argimenes digs,] 
King Argimenes. What is the name of 
that song that we always sing? I like the 

Zarb. It has no name. It is our song. 
There is no other song. 

King Argimenes. Once there were 
other songs. Has this no name? 

Zarb. I think the soldiers have a name 
for it. 

King Argimenes. What do the soldiers 
call it? 

Zarb. The soldiers call it the tear-song, 
the chant of the low-born. 

King Argimenes. It is a good song. I 
could sing no other now. 

[Zahb moves away digging.] 

King Argimenes [to himself as his spade 
touches something in the earth]. Metal I 
Feels viith his spade again.] Gold perhaps! 
^ It is of no use here. [Uncovers earth lei- 
surely. S-uddenly he drops on his knees and 
works excitedly in the ea^h with his harxds. 
Then very slowly, still kiieeKng, he lifts, lying 
fiat on his hands, a long greenish sward, his 
eyes intent on %l. About the leml of his up- 
lifted forehead he holds it, still flat on both 
hands, and addresses it thus.] O holy and 
blessed thing ! [Then he lowers it slowly tiU 
his hands rest on his knees, and looking all 
the while at the sword, loquitur.] Three years 
ago to-morrow King Damiak spat at me, 
having taken ray kingdom from me. Three 
times in that year 1 was flogged, with twelve 
stripes, with seventeen stripes, and with 



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KING ARGIMENES AND THE UNKNOWN WARRIOR 



twenty stripes. A year and eleven months 
ago, come Moon-day, the King's Overseer 
struck me in the face, and nine times in 
that year he called me dog. For one month, 
two weeks and a day 1 was yoked with a 
bullock and pulled a rounded stone all day 
over the paths, except while we were fed. 
I was flogged twice that year — with 
eighteen stripes and with ten stripes. This 
year the roof of tie slave-sty has fallen in 
and King Darniak will not repair it. Five 
weeks ago one of his Queens laughed at me 
as she came across the slave-fields. 1 was 
flogged again this year and with thirteen 
stripes, and twelve times they have called 
me d<^. And these things they have done 
to a king, and a king of the House of Ithara. 
[He listens attentively Jor a moment, 
Jften 6«rMs the sword again and 
pats the earth over it with his 
hands, then digs again.] 

[The old Slaves do not see him: their faces 
are to the earth. Enter the King's 
Overseer carrying a whip. The 
Slaves o»id King Argimbnes kneel 
mth their foreheads to the ground as he 
passes across the stage. Exit the King's 

OVERSSER.] 

King Argimenes [kneeling, hands out- 
spread downward]. O warrior spirit, wher- 
ever thou wanderest, whoe^'er be thv gods 
whether they punish thee or whether the\ 
bless thee, O kingly spirit, that once laid 
here this aword, behold I prav to thee 
having no gods to pray to for the god of 
my nation was broken in three by night 
Mine arm is stiff with three years' slaverj 
and remembers not the sword But guide 
thy sword tiQ I have slain six men and 
armed the strongest slaves, and thou shalt 
have the sacrifice every year of a hundred 
goodly oxen. And I will buiid in Ithara a 
temple ■ to thy memory wherein all that 
enter in shall remember thee ; so shalt thou 
be honored and envied among the dead, 
for the dead are very jealous of remem- 
brance. Ay, though thou wert a robber that 
took men's Uves unrighteously, yet shall 
rare spices smoulder in thy temple and little 
maidens sing apd new-plucked flowers deck 
the solemn aisles; and priests shall go about 



it ringing bells that thy soul shall find re- 
pose. Oh, but it has a good blade, this old 
green sword; thou wouldst not hke to see it 
miss its mark (if the dead see at all, as 
wise men teach), thou wouldst not like to 
see it go thirsting into the air; so huge a 
sword should find its marrowy bone, [Ex- 
lending his right hand upward.] Come into 
my r^ht arm, O ancient spirit, O unknown 
warrior's soul ! And if thou hast the ear 
of any gods, speak there against Illuriel, 
god of King Darniak. 

[He rises and goes on digging.] 

The King's Overseer [re^tering]. So 
you have been praying. 

King Argimenes [kneetiug]. No, master. 

The King's Overseer. "The slave-guard 
saw you. IStrikes kirn.] It is not lawful for 
a slave to pray. 

KiNQ Aroimbnes, I did but pray to 
Illuriel to make me a good slave, to teach 
me to dig well and to pull the rounded stone 
and to make me not to die when the food is 
scarce, but to be a good slave to my master 
the great King. 

The King's Overseer. Who art thou to 

pray to Illuriel? Dogs may not pray to an 

immortal god. [Exit.] 

|Zarb comes back, digging.] 

Kino Argimenes tdippins]. Zarbl 

Zarb [also digging]. Do not look at mo 
when you speak. The guards are watch- 
ig us. Look at your digging. 

King Argimenes. How do the guards 
know we are speaking because we took at 
inc another? 

Zarb. You are very witless. Of coutse 
they know. 

King Argimenes. Zatb! 

Zarb. What is it? 

King Argimenes. How many guards 
,re there in sight? 

Zarb. There are six of them over there. 
They are watching us. 

Kino Argimenes. Are there other 
guards in sight of these six guards? 

Zarb. No. 

King Argimenes. How do you know? 

Zarb. Because whenever their officer 
leaves them they ait upon the ground and 
play with (lice. 



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King Argimenbs. How does that show 
that there are not another six in sight of 

Zarb. How witless you are, ArgimenesI 
Of eourse it shows there are not. Because, 
if there were, another officer would see 
them, and their thumbs would be cut off. 

King Abgimenes. Ah! [A jWHMe.JZarb! 
[A poitae.) Would the slaves follow me if I 
tried to kill the guards? 

Zabb. No, Argimenes. 

Kino Aroiuenes. Why would they not 
follow me? 

Zabb. Because you !ook like a slave. 
They will never follow a slave, because they 
are slaves themselves, and know how mean 
a creature is a slave. If you looked tike a 
king they would follow you. 

King Argimenes. But I am a king. 
They know that I am a king. 

Zarb. It is better to look like a king. It 
is looks that they would go by. 

King Akgimenes. If I had a sword 
would they foBow me? A beautiful huge 
sword of bronze, 

Zarb. I wish I could think of things like 
that. It is because you were once a king 
that you can think of a sword of bronze. I 
tried to hope once that I should some day 
^ht the guards, but I could n't picture a 
sword, I could n't imagine it; I could only 
picture whips. 

King Argimenes. Dig a little nearer, 
Zarb. [They both edge closer.] I have found 
a very old sword in the earth. It is not a 
sword such as common soldiers wear. A 
king must have worn it, and an angry king. 
It must have done fearful things ; there are 
little dints in it. Perhaps there was a battle 
here long ago where all were slain, and per- 
haps that king died last and buried his 
sword, but the great birds swallowed him. 

Zarb. You have been thinking too much 
of the King's dog, Argimenes, and that has 
made you hungry, and hunger has driven 
you mad. 

King Argimenes. I have found such a 
sword. [A pause.] 

Zarb. Why — then you will wear a pur- 
ple cloak again, and sit on a great throne, 
and ride a prancing horse, and we shall call 
you Majesty. 



King Abgiubnes. I shall break a long 
fast first and drink much water, and sleep. 
But will the slaves follow me? 

Zarb. You will make them follow you if 
you have a sword. Yet is liluriel a very 
potent god. They say that none have pre- 
vailed againat King Darniak's dynasty so 
long as lUuriel stood. Once an enemy cast 
lUuriel into the river and overthrew the 
d3Tiasty, but a fisherman found him again 
and set him up, and the enemy was driven 
out and the dynasty returned. 

King Argimenes. It liluriel could be 
cast down as my god was oast down per- 
haps King Damiak could be overcome as 
I was overcome ia my sleep? 

Zabb. If liluriel were cast down all the 
people would utter a cry and flee away. It 
would be a fearful portent. 

King Argimenes. How many men are 
there in the armory at the palace? 

Zarb. There are ten men in the palace 

armory when all the slave-guards are out. 

[They dig awhile in silence.] 

Zarb. The officer of the slave-guard has 
gone away — They are playing with dice 
now. [He throws dovm his spade and 
stretches his arms.] The man with the big 
beard has won again, he is very nimbb with 
his thumbs — They are playing again, but 
it is getting dark, I cannot clearly see. 

[King Abqimenes fuTtively un- 
covers the sword, he picks it up 
and grips it in his hand-] 

Zarb. Majesty! 

[King Arqiuenes croucAes and 
stecde away towards the slane- 
guard.] 

Zarb \to iJie other slaves]. Argimenes has 
found a terrible sword and has gone to slay 
the slave-guard. It is not a common sword, 
it is some king's sword. 

An Old Slave. Argimenes will be 
dreadfully flogged. We shall hear him cry 
all night. His cries will frighten us, ajid we 
shall not sleep. 

Zarb. No, no! The guards flog poor 
slaves, but Argimenes had an angry look. 
The guards will be afraid when they see 
him look so angry and see his terrible sword. 
It was a huge sword, and he looked veiy 



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KING ARGIMENES AND THE UNKNOWN WARRIOR 163 



angry. He will bring us the swords of the 
slave-guard. We must prostrate ourselves 
before him and kiss his feet or he will be 
angry with us too. 

Old Slave. Will Argimene'< give me i 
Bword? 

ZisB. He will have swords tor s y of us 
if he slays the slaye-guard. \e^ he mil 
give you a sword. 

Slave. A sword! No, no, I must not 
the King would kill me if he found that I 
had a sword. 

Second Slave [aloivly, as one vho de 
velops an idea]. If the King found that I 
had a sword, why, then it would be an evil 
day tor the King. [They <dl lonl off left ] 

Zakb. I think that they are playing at 
dice again. 

First Slave, I do not see Argimenes. 

Zarb. No.becauHehewascrouchingashe 
walked. The slave-guard is on the sky-line. 

Secokd Slave. What is that dark 
shadow behind the slave-guard? 

Zabb. It is too still to be Argimenes. 

Second Slave. Look! It moves. 

Zarb. The evening is too dark, I cannot 

[They continue to gaze into the 
gathering darkness. They raise 
themselves on theis kntes and 
crane their necks. Nobody speaks. 
Then from their lips and from 
others farther off goes up a long, 
deep "Oh!" It is like the sound 
that goes up from the grandstand 
when a horse faJls at a fence, or, 
in England, like the first ex- 
damation of the crowd at a great 
cricket match when a man is 
caught in the slips.] 



THE SECOND ACT 

The Throne Hall of Kino Dabniak. The 
King is seated on his throne in the centre 
at the back of the stage; a little to kis left, 
buf standing oiU from the waU, a dark-green 
seated idol is set up. His Queens are seated 
about him on the ground, two on his right 
and two between him and the idol. All wear 



crowns. Beside the dark-green idol a soldier 
with a pike is kneeling upon one knee. The 
tear-song, the chant of the low-born, drifts 
faintly up from the slave-fields. 

First Queen. Do show us the new 
prophtt Majesty; it would be very inter- 
tat ng to see another prophet. 

Tbb KI^G. Ah, yes. [He strikes upon a 

qmg Old an Aileitdant enters, walks straight 

past the Ki\G and bows before the idol; he 

ther ualki back to the centre of the stage and 

tows iefore the King.] Bring the new 

prophet hither. [Exit Attendant.] 

[Erilei the King's Overseer holding a roU 

of paper. He passes the King, bows to 

the vM, returrts to the front of the King, 

kneels, and remains kneeling with 

bended head,} 

This Kino [speaking in the meanwhile to 
the Second Queen on his immediate right]. 
We are making a beautiful arbor for you, 
O Atharlia, at an end of the great garden. 
There shall be iris-flowers that you love 
and all things that grow by streams. And 
the stream there shall be small and winding 
like one of those in your country. I shall 
bring a stream & new way from the moun- 
tains. [Turning to t^vEEN OxARA. on his ex- 
treme right.] And for you, too, O Oxara, 
we shall make a pleasance. I shall have 
rocks brought from the quarries for you, 
and my idle slaves shall make a hill and 
plant it with mountain shrubs, and you 
can sit there in the winter thinking of the 
North. [To the kneeling Ovuhseek.] Ah, 
what is here? 

The King's Ovehsbeh. The plans of 
your ro3^l garden. Majesty. The slaves 
have dug it for five years and rolled the 
paths. 

The Kino [takes the plaTis]. Was there 
not a garden in Babylon? 

The Kino's Ovbrsebb. They say there 
was a garden there of some sort, Majesty. 

The King, I will have a greater garden. 
Let the world know and wonder. 

* [Looks at the plans.] 

The King's Ovbrseeh. It shall know 
at once, Majesty. 

The Kino [pointing at the plan]. 1 do 
not like that hill, it is too steep. 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



The Kino's Overseer. No, Majesty. 

The King. Remove it. 

The King's Overseeh. Yes, Majesty. 

The Kin<3. When will the garden be 
ready for the Queens to walk in? 

The King's Ovehseer. Work is slow, 
Majesty, at this season of the year be- 
cause the green stuff is scarce and the 
slaves grow idle. They even become in- 
solent and ask for bones. 

Q0EBN Cahafra ito the King's Over- 
seer). Then why are they not flogged? [To 
Queen Thragolind.] It is so simple, they 
only have to flog them, but these people 
are so silly sometimes. I want to walk in 
the great garden, and then they tell me: 
"It is not ready, Majesty. It is not ready, 
Majesty," as though there were any reason 
why it should not be ready. 

Fourth Qoben. Yes, they are a great 
trouble to us. 

[Meanwhile the King hands back 
the plans. Exit the King's Over- 
beer. | 

IBelnter Attendant vnth Ike Prophet, ivho is 

dressed in a long dark^brown cloak; his 

face is solemn; he has a long dark beard 

and long hair. Haidng bowed before 

the idol, he bows before the King and 

stands silent. The Attendant, having 

bowed to both, stands by the doorway,] 

The King [meanwhile to Queen Athar- 

lia). Perhaps we shall lure the ducks when 

the marshes are frozen to come and swim 

in your stream; it will be like your own 

country, [To the Prophet.] Prophesy unto 

The Prophet [speaks at once in a loud 
voice]. There was once a King that had 
slaves to hate him and to toil for him, and 
he had soldiers to guard him and to die for 
him. And the number of the slaves that he 
had to hate him and to toil for him was 
greater than the number of the soldiers 
that he had to guard him and to die for him. 
And the days of that King were few. And 
the number of thy slaves, O Jfing, that 
thou hast to hate thee is greater than the 
number of thy soldiers. 

QoEENCAHAFRAltoQoEEN Thragolind]. 
— and I wore the crown with the sap- 



phires and the big emerald in it, and the 
foreign prince said that I looked very sweet. 
[The King who has been smiling at 
Athahlia, gives a gracious nod 
to the Prophet wlwn he hears 
him stop speaking. When the 
Queens see the Kino nod gra- 
ciously, Ihey applaud the Pro- 
phet by idly clapping their 
hands.] 
Third Queen. Do ask him to make us 
another prophecy. Majesty! He is so in- 
teresting. He looks so clever. 
The King. Prophesy unto us. 
The Prophet. Thine armies camped 
upon thy mountainous borders descry no 
enemy in the plains afar. And within thy 
gates lurks he for whom thy sentinels seek 
upon lonely guarded frontiers. There is a 
fear upon me and a boding. Even yet there 
is time, even yet; but little time. And my 
mind is dark with trouble for thy kingdom. 
QuBEtj Cahafra [to Queen Thrago- 
lind]. I do not like the way he does his hair. 
Queen Thragolind. It would be all 
right if he would only have it cut. 

The King [to the Prophet, dismissing 
kim with a nod of the head]. Thank you, 
that has been very interesting. 

Queen Thragolind. How clever he is! 

I wonder how he thinks of things like that? 

Queen Cahatra. Yes, but 1 hate a man 

who is conceited about it. Look how he 

wears his hair. 

Queen Thragolind. Yes, of course, it 
is perfectly dreadful. 

Queen Cahafra. Why can't he wear 
his hair like other people, even if he does 
say clever thmgs? 

Queen Thragolind. Yes, I hate a con- 
ceited man.' 

[Enter an Attendant. He boiDS before the 
idol, then kneels to the King,] 
The Attendant, The guests are all as- 
sembled in the Chamber of Banquets. 

[All rise. The Queens taatk two 
abreast to the Chamber of 
Banquets.] 
Queen Athahlia [to Queen Osaka]. 
What was he talking about? 

^ It is not ueceHeary for the prophet's hiur to 
be at aU udubuhI. 



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KING ARGIMENES AND THE UNKNOWN WARRIOR 



i6s 



Queen Oxara. He was talking about 
the armies on the frontier. 

QtjEEN Athablia. Ah! That reminds me 
of that young captain in the Purple Guard. 
They say that he loves Linoora. 

QoBBN Oxara. Oh, Thearkos! Linoora 
probably said that, 

[When Pk Qdee.vs come to the 
doorway they halt on each side of 
it. Then they turn facing i 
another. Then the King leaves 
his throne and passes between 
them, into the Chixmber of Ban- 
qaels, each couple courtesying low 
to him as he passes. The 
Queens follow, then the attend- 
ants. There rises the wine-simg, 
the chant of the nobles, dr<yjiming 
thechantoftheloiB-bom. Onlylhe 
Idol -Gu AM) remains behind, 
sliU kneeling beside Illuriei..] 
The Idol-Guard, I do not like those 
things the Prophet said — It would be ter- 
rible if they were true. It would be very 
terrible if they were false, for he prophesies 
in the name of Illuriel. Ah ! They are sing- 
ii^ the wine-song, the chant of the nobles. 
The Queens are singing. How merry they 
are ! I should like to be a noble and sit and 
look at the Queens. [He joins in the song.] 
The Voice op a Sentinel. Guard, turn 
out. [The wine-song stiU continvee.] 

Tbe Voice of one havino Authority. 
Turn out the guard therel Wake up, you 
accursed pigs! 

[Still the wine-song. A faint sound 
as of siBords.[ 
A Voice CBriNG. To the armory! To 
the armory ! Reinforce ! The Slaves have 
come to the armory. Ah! mercy! 

[For awhile there is silence.] 
King Asqimbnes [in the doorway]. Go 
you to the slave-fields. Say tJiat the palaee- 
guard is dead and that we have taken the 
armory. Ten of you, hold the armory till 
our men come from the slave-fields. [He 
comes into the hall toith his slaues armed with 
swords.] Throw down Illuriel. 

The Idoii-Goard. You must take my 
life before you touch my god. 

A Slave. We only want your pike. 
[AH altack him; they seiie 



sword and bind his hands behind 
him. They all pidl down Illuriel, 
the dark-green idol, who breaks 

KiHO Argimenes. Illuriel is fallen and 
broken asunder. 

Zahb [with smne awe]. Immortal Illuriel 
is dead at last. 

King Abgimbnes. My god was broken 
into three pieces, but Illuriel is broken into 
seven. The fortunes of Damiak will pre- 
vail over mine no longer. [A slwie breaks 
off a golden arm from the iftrone.] Come, we 
will arm all the slaves. [Exeunt.] 

King Dabniak [enters with retinue]. My 
throne is broken. Illuriel is turned against 

An ATTEfjoANT. Illuriel is fallen. 

All [wilJi King Darniak]. Illuriel is 
fallen, is fallen. [Some drop their spears.] 

King Darniak [to the Idol-Guaiu)]. 
What envious god or sacrilegious man has 
dared to do this thing? 

The loOL-GuAHD, illuriel is fallen, 

KiNa Darniak, Have men been here? 

The Idol-Guabd. la fallen. 

Kino Darniak. What way did they go? 

The Idol-Gcard. Illuriel is fallen. 

King Darniak. They shall be tortured 
here before Illuriel, and tlieir eyes shall be 
hung on a thread about his neck, so that 
Illuriel shall see it, and on their bones we 
will set him up again. Come! 

]Those that haiie dropped their 
spears pick them up, biU trait 
them suddenly behind them on 
the ground. AUfolhw dejedeiUy.] 

Voices op Lamentation [grovnng fainter 
and fainter off]. Illuriel is fallen, Illuriel is 
fallen. Illuriel, Illuriei, Illuriel", Illuriel. Is 
fallen. Is fallen. [The song of Ike low-horn 
ceases suddenly. Then voices of the sIodcs in 
the slave-fields chanting very loxidly.] Illu- 
riel is fallen, is fallen, is fallen. Illuriel is 
fallen and broken asunder. Illuriel is 
fallen, fallen, fallen. 

[Clamt^ of fighting is heard, the 
dash of swords, and voices, and 
now and then the name of lUuriel.] 

The InoL-GuARD [kneeling over a frag- 
ment of lUuriel]. Illuriel is broken. They 
have overthrown Illuriel. They have done 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



great harm to the courses of the stars. The 
moon will be turned to blackness or fal! 
and forsake the nights. The 9un will rise no 
more. They do not know how they have 
wrecked the world, 

[ReSnler King AHQiMEfiTES and kw rnen.] 

King Argimekeb [in the donrway]. Go 
you to the land of Ithara and tell them that 
I am free. And do you go to the army on 
the frontier. Offer them death, or the right 
arm of the throne, to be melted and divided 
amongst thera all. Let them choose. 

[The anned slaves go to th^ throne 
and stand on each side of it, 
loquiluT, " Majesty, ascend your 
Ihrone."] 

Kino Ahgimenes [slomditi^ with his face 
toTvard the audience, lifts the sword slowly, 
lying on both his hands, a little above his head, 
then looking up at it, loquUitT], Praise to the 
unknown warrior, and to all gods that 
bless him. [He aseenda the throne. Zahb pros- 
trates himself at the fool of it and remains 
prostraied for the rest of the Act, muttering 
atintervals "Maoenty." Anarmedslave en- 
ters dragging the King's Ovehisbeh. King 
Argimbnbs sternly vxdehei him. He is 
dragged before the Throne. He still has (fee 
roll of parchment in his hand. For some mo- 
rnerd^ King Arqiuenbs does not speak. 
ThenpoinlingattheparchTnenl.] What have 
you there? 

The King's Oversee b 



plan of the great garden, Majesty. It was 
to have been a wonder to the world, 

\U,ifoldsit.] 
King Aboimenes [grimly]. Show me the 
place that I digged for three years. [The 
King's Overseer shoxDS U with trembling 
hands; the parchment shakes visibly.] Let 
there be built there a temple to an Un- 
known Warrior. And let this sword be laid 
on its altar evermore, that the ghost of that 
Warrior wandering by night (if men do 
walk by night from across the grave) may 
see his sword again. And let slaves be 
allowed to pray there and those that are 
oppressed; nevertheless the noble and the 
mighty shall not fail to repair there too, 
that the Unknown Warrior shall not lack 

[Enter, running, a Man of the household of 
King Dabniak. He starts and stares 
aghast on seeing King Ahgimenes.] 

King Argihenes. Who are you? 

Man. lam the servant of the King's dog. 

King Argimenbs. Why do you come here? 

Man. The King's dog is dead. 

King Aegimenes and his Men [savagely 
and hungrily]. Bones! 

King Argimenes [remembering suddenly 
what has happened and where he is]. Let him 
be buried with the late King. 

Zarb [in a voice of protest]. Majesty! 



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THE EASIEST WAY 

AN AMERICAN PLAY CONCERNING A PARTICULAR 
PHASE OF NEW YORK LIFE 

IN FOUR ACTS AND FOUR SCENES 

By EUGENE WALTER 



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This play is htn reprinlid fca sludenU and Ihi rtaiins public Ihiough llu coioUsyof On author. The a. 
riehls art strictly rntived by the author, and pa'setsion of tht book coafos no tight or Heme to professiona 
amateurs to troduci the play Publicly or priiraUty. Pmallies are provided by law for any infringimenls o 
author's rights. 



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CHARACTERS 

Laura Muedock 

Elfie St. Clair 

'Annie 

WiLLARD Brockton 

John Madison 

Jim Westoh 



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DESCRIPTION OF CHARACTERS 

Laura Mdrdock, twenty-five years of age, is a type not uncommon in the theatrical 
life of New York, and one which has grown in importance in the profession since the 
business of giving public entertainments has been so reduced to a, commercial basis. 

At an early age she came from Australia to San Francisco. She possessed a considerable 
beauty and an aptitude for theatrical accomplishment which soon raised her to a position 
of more or less importance in a local stock corcpany playing in that city. A woman of 
intense superfioial emotions, her ira^nation was without any enduring depths, but for 
the passing time she could place herself in an attitude of great affection and devotion. 
Sensually, the woman had marked characteristics, and with the flattery tliat surrounded 
her she soon became a favorite in the select circles who made such places as "The Poodle 
Dog" and "Zinkland's" famous. In general dissipation she was always careful not in 
any way to indulge in excesses which would jeopardize, her physical attractiveness or for 
one moment diminish her sense of keen worldly calculation. 

In time she married. It was, of course, a failure. Her vacillating nature was such that 
she could not be absolutely true to the man to whom she had given her life, and, after 
several bitter experiences, she had the horror of seeing him kill himself in front of her. 
There was a momentary spasm of grief, a tidal wave of remorse, and then the peculiar 
recuperation of spirits, beauty and attractiveness that so marks this type of woman. 
She was deceived by other men in many various ways and finally came to that stage of 
lite that is known in theatrical circles as being "wised up." 

At nineteen, the attention of a prominent theatrical manager being called to her, she 
took an important part in a New York production and immediately gained considerable 
reputation. The fact that before reaching the age of womanhood she had had more 
escapades than most women have in their entire lives was not generally known in New 
York, nor was there a mark upon her face or a single coarse mannerism to betray it. 
She was soft-voiced, very pretty, very girlish. Her keen sense of worldly calculation led 
her to believe that in order to progress in her theatrical career she must have some influ- 
ence outside of her art and dramatic accomplishment, so she attempted with no little 
sueeess to infatuate a hard-headed, blunt and supposedly invincible theatrical manager, 
who, in his cold, stolid way, gave her what love there was in him. This, however, not 
satisfying her, she played two ends against the middle, and finding a young man of 
wealth and position who could give her, in his youth, the exuberance and joy utterly 
apart from the character of the theatrical manager, she adopted him and for a while 
lived with him. Exhausting his money she oast him aside, always spending a certain 
part of the time with the theatrical manager. The young man became crazed, and at a 
leetaurant tried to murder all of them. 

From that time up to the opening of the play her career was a succession of brilliant 
coups in gaining the confidence and love, not to say the money, of men of all ages and 
all walks in life. Her fascination was as undeniable as her insincerity of purpose. She 
had never made an honest effort to be an honest woman, although she imagined herself 
always persecuted, the victim of circumstances, and was always ready to excuse any 
viciousness of character which led her into her peculiar dilBcuRiea. While acknowledged 
to be a mistress of her business — that of acting — from a purely technical point of view, 
her lack of sympathy, her abuse of her dramatic temperament in her private affairs, had 
been such as to make it impossible for her sincerely to impress audiences with real 



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THE EASIEST WAY 171 

emotional power, and therefore, despite the influences which she always had at hand, 
she remained a mediocre artist. 

At the time of the opening of our play she has played a summer engagement with a 
stock company in Denver, which has just ended. She has met John Madison, a man of 
about twenty-seven years of age, whose position is that of a dramatic critic on one of 
the local papers. Laura Murdock, with her usual wisdom, started to fascinate John 
Madison, but has found that, for once in her hfe, she has met her match. 

John Madison is good to look at, frank, virile, but a man of broad experience, and not 
to be hoodwinked. For the first time Laura Murdock feels that the shoe is pinching the 
other foot, and without any possible indication of reciprocal affection she has been 
slowly falling desperately, madly, honestly and decently in love with him. She has for 
the past two years been the special favorite and mistress of Willard Brockton. The under- 
standing is one of pure friendship. He is a man who has a varied taste in the selection 
LB honest in a general way, and perfectly frank about his amours. He has 



been most generous with Laura Murdock, and his close relati 
nent theatrical managers have made it possible for him to 
raents, generally in New York. With all her past expert 



with several very promi- 

ire her desirable engage- 

iences, tragic and otherwise. 



a Murdock has found nothing equal to this sudden, this swiftly increasing, love tor 
the young Western man. At first she attempted to deceive him. Her baby face, her 
masterful assumption of innocence and childlike devotion, made no impression upon him. 
He has let her know in no uncertain way that he knew her record from the day she stepped 
on American soil in Saa Francisco to the time when she had come to Denver, but still 
he liked her, 

John Madison is a peculiar type of the Western man. Up to the time of his meeting 
Laura he had always been employed cither in the mines or on a newspaper west of the 
Mississippi River. He is one of those itinerant reporters; to-day you might find him in 
Seattle, to-morrow in Butte, the next week in Denver, and then possibly he would make 
the circuit from Los Angeles to 'Frisco, and then all around again. He drinks his whiskey 
Straight, plays his faro fairly, and is not particular about the women with whom he goes. 
He started life in the Western country at an early age. His natural talents, both in litera- 
ture and in general adaptabihty to all conditions of life, were early exhibited, but his 
alma mater was the bar-room, and the faculty of that college its bar-tenders and gamblers 
and general habitues. 

He seldom has social engagements outside of certain disreputable establishments where 
a genial personality or an overburdened pocketbook gives enlr^ and the rules of conven- 
tionality have never even been whispered. His love aifaira, confined to this class oE 
women, have seldom lasted more than a week or ten days. His editors know him aa a 
brilliant genius, irresponsible, unreliable, but at times inestimably valuable. He cares 
little for persona! appearance beyond a certain degree of neatness. He is quick on the 
trigger, and in a time of overheated ailment can go some distance with his fists; in fact, 
his whole career is best described as "happy-go-lucky." 

He realizes fully his ability to do almost anything fairiy well, and some things especially 
well, but he has never tried to accomplish anything beyond the earning of a comfortable 
living. Twenty-five or thirty dollars a week was all he needed. With that he could buy 
his hquor, treat his women, sometimes play a little faro, sit up all night and sleep all day, 
and in general lead the life of good-natured vagabondage which has always pleased him 
and he had chosen as a career. 

The objection of safer and saner friends to this form of livelihood was always met by 
him with a slap on the back and a laugh. "Don't you worry about me, partner; if I'm 
going to hell I'm going there with bells on," was always his rejoinder, and yet when 
called upon to cover some great big news story, or report some vital event, he settled 



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172 CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 

down to his work with, a steely detennination and a grim joy that resulted in work which 
classified him as a genius. Any great mental effort of this character, any unusual achieve- 
ment along these lines, would be immediately followed by a protracted debauch that 
would upset him physically and mentally tor weeks at a time, but he alwaj^ recovered 
and landed on his feet, and with the same laugh and smile again went at his work. 

If there have been opportunities to meet decent women of good social standing he has 
always thrown them aside with the declaration that they bore him to death, and there 
never had entered into his heart a feeling or idea of real affection until he met Laura. He 
fell tor a moment under the spell of her fascination, and then, with cold logic, he analyzed 
her, and found out that while outwardly she had every sign of girlhood, ingenuousness, 
sweetness of character and possibility of affection, spiritualty and mentally she was 
nothing more than a. moral wreck. He observed keenly her efforts to win him and her 
disappointment at her failure — not that she cared so much for him personally, but that 
it hurt her vanity not to be successful with this good-for-nothing, good-natured vagabond, 
when men of wealth and position she made kneel at her feet. He observed her slowly 
changingpoint of view; how from a kittenish ingenuoiisness she became serious, womanly, 
really sincere. He knew that he had awakened in her her first decent affection, and he 
knew that she was awakening in him his first desire to do things and be big and worth 
while. So together these two began to drift toward a path of decent dealing, decent ambi- 
tion, decent thought, and decent love, until at last they both find themselves, and 
acknowledge ail the wickedness ot what had been and plan for all the virtue and goodness 
of what is to be. It is afc this point that our first act begins. 

Elpie St. Clair is a type ot a Tenderloin grafter in New York, who after all has been 
more sinned against than sinning; who, having been imposed upon, deceived, ill-treated 
and bulldoaed by the type ot men who prey on women in New York, has turned the 
tables, and with her charm and her beauty has gone out to make the same slaughter of 
the other sex as she suffered with many of her sisters. 

Sh m without a moral conscience, whose entire Ufe is dictated by a small 

m ntal pe t Coming to New York as a beautiful girl she entered the chorus. She 
be a f f her beauty. On every hand were the stage-door vultures ready to 

gi h a th ng that a woman's heart could desire, from clothes to horses, carriages, 
ran a d wh tn t but with a girl-hke instinct, she tell in love with a man connected 
with th mp J nd during all the time that she might have profited and become a 

h w man by tl attentions ot these outsiders, she remained true to her love until 
fin Uy h f m the beauty ot the city had waned. The years told on her to a certain 
e t nt d th re others coming, as young as she had been and as good to look at: 

and h re th t mobile of the millionaire had once been waiting for her she found 
that thr ugh h t thtulnesa to her lover it was now there tor some one else. Yet she 
was content with her joys until finally the man deliberately jilted her and left her alone. 

What had gone of her beauty had been replaced by a keen knowledge of human nature 
and of men, so she determined to give herself up entirely to a Ufe of gain. She knows just 
how much champa^e should be drunk without injuring one's health. She knows just 
what physical necessities should be indulged in to preserve to the greatest degree her 
remaining beauty. There is no trick of the hairdresser, the modiste, the manicurist, or 
any one ot the legion of people who devote their time to aiding the outward fascinations 
of women, which she does not know. She knows exactly what perfumes to use, what 
stockings to wear, how she should live, how far she should indulge in any dissipation, and 
all this she has determined to devote to profit. She knows that as an actress she has no 
future; that the time of a woman's beauty is limited. Conscious that she has already lost 
the youthful litheness ot figure which had made her so fascinating in the past, she has 
laid aside every sentiment, physical and spiritual, and has determined to choose a man as 



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THE EASIEST WAY 173 

her companion who has the biggest bankroll and tlie most hberd nature. His age, his 
station in life, the fact whether she likes or dislikes him, does not enter into this scheme 
at all. She figmi;s that she has been made a fool of by men and that there is only one 
revenge, the accumulation of a fortune to make her independent of them once and for all- 
There are, of course, certain likes and dislikes that she enjoys, and in a way she indulges 
them. There are men whose company she cares for, but their association is practically 
sexless and has come down to a point of mere good fellowship. 

WiLLARD Brockton, a New York broker, is an hoacat sensualist, and when one says an 
honest sensualist, the meaning is a man who has none of the cad in his character, who 
takes advantage of no one, and allows no one to take advantage of iiim. He honestly 
detests any man who takes advantage of a pure woman. He detests any man who de- 
ceives a woman. He believes that there is only one way to go through life, and that is to 
be frank with those with whom one deals. He is a master hand in stock manipulation, 
and in the questionable practices ot Wall Street he has realized that he has to play his 
cunning and craft against the cunning and craft of others. He is not at all in sympathy 
with this mode of living, but he thinks it is the only method by which he can succeed in 
life. He measures success by the accumulation of money, but he considers his business 
career as a thing apart from his private existence. 

He does not associate, to any great extent, with what is known as "society." He keeps 
in touch with it simply to maintain his business position. There is always an inter- 
relationship among the rich in business and private life, and he gives such entertainments 
as are necessary to the members of New York's exclusive set simply to make certain his 
relative position with other successful Wall Street men. 

As far as women were concerned, the particular type of actress such as Laura Murdock 
and Elfie St. Clair appeals to him. He likes their good fellowship. He loves to be with 
a gay party at night in a cafS. He likes th6 rather looseness of living which does not quite 
reach the disreputable. Behind all this, however, is a rather high sense of honor. He 
detests and despises the average stage-door Johnny, and he loathes the type of man who 
seeks to take young girls out of theatrical companies for their ruin. 

His women friends are as wise as himself. When they enter into an agreement with 
him there is no deception. In the first place he wants to like them; in the second place 
he wants them to hke him; and finally, he wants to fix the amount of their living expenses 
at a delmite figure and have them stand by it. He wants them to understand that he 
reserves the right at any time to withdraw his support, or transfer it to some other 
woman, and he gives them the same privilege. 

He is always ready to help anyone who is untortunate, and he has always hoped that 
some of these girls whom he knew would finally come across the right man, marry and 
settle down; but he insists that such an arrangement can be possible only by the honest 
admission on the woman's part of wliat she had done and been, and the thorough under- 
standing of all these things by the man involved. He is gruff in his manner, determined 
in his purposes, honest in his point of view. He is a brute, almost a savage, but he is a 
thoroughly good brute and a pretty decent savage. 

At the time of the opening of this play he and Laura Murdock have been friends for 
two years. He knows exactly what she is and what she had been, and their relations are 
those of pals. She has finished her season in Denver, and he has come out there to accom- 
pany her home. He has alwa}^ told her whenever she felt it inconsistent with her happi- 
ness to continue her relations with him it is her privilege to quit, and he has reserved the 
same condition. 



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minstrel men have gradually been pushed aside, while younger men, with more advanced 
methods, have taken their place. The character is best realized by the way it is drawn 
in the play, 

Annie. The only particular attention that should be called to the character of the 
negress Annie, who is the servant of Laura, is the fact that she must not in any way 
represent the traditional smiling colored girl or "mammy" of tlie South. She is the cun- 
ning, crafty, heartless, surly, sullen Northern negress, who, to the number of thousands, 
are servants of women of easy morals, and who infest a district of New York in which 
white and black people of the lower classes mingle indiscriminately, ajid is one of the most 
criminal sections of the city- The actress who plays this part must keep in mind its innate 
and brutal selfishness. 



Mrs. Williams' Ranch House or Country 
Home, perched on the side of Ute Pass, near 
Colorado Springs, Colorado, 

Time: Late in an Augvst afternoon. 

Act II 

Laura Mnrdock's furnished Room, second 
story back, New York, 

Time: Six months later. 

Act III 
Iiaura Mucdoek's Apartments in an expen- 
sive Hotel. 
Time: Two months later. In the morning. 



Time: The afternoon of the si 



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ScBNB. The scene is that 0/ the summer 
eour^ry ranch house of Mrb. Williams, a 
friend of Laura Mubdock's, and a promi- 
nent society woman of Denver, perched (m the 
aide of Vie Pass, near Colorado Springs. The 
house is one of unuswii pretenticmsitess, and 
to a person not conversant mth conditions as 
they exist in this part of Colorado, the idea 
might be that swk magnificence could not 
obtain in such a loadity. At the l^t of stage 
the house rises in the form of a turret, built of 
rough, stone of a brown hue, two stories high, 
and projecting a quarter of the way mil on the 
stage. The door leads to a small ellipiical ter- 
race built of stone, with heavy benches of 
Greek design, strewn cushions, while over the 
top of one part of this terrace is suspended a 
canopy made from a Navajo blanket. The 
terrace is supposed to extend oimosl to the 
right of stage, and here it stops. The stage 
must he cut here so that the entrance of John 
con j^ the illusion that he is coming up a 
steepdecUvityor along flight of stairs. There 
are chairs at right and left, and a small table 
at left. There are trailing vines around the 
balustrade <tf tlie terrace, and the whole Bet- 
ting must convey the idea of quiet wealth. 
Up stage is supposed to be the part of the ter- 
race oaerlooking the canon, a sheer drop of 
iv)o thousand feet, while over in the distance, 
as if across (fte cofton, one can see the rolling 
foofkiUs and lofty peaks of the Rockies, with 
Pike's Peak in the distance, snow-capped and 
colossaL It is late in the afternoon, and as 
the scene progresses, the quick tmlight of a 
cahon, beautiful in its tints of purple and am- 
ber, becomes later pitch black, and the curtain 
goes down on an absolutely black stage. The 
cydorama, or semi-cyclorama, must give the 
perspective of greater distances, and be so 
painted that the various tinte of twUighl may 
be shown. 

At Rise. Ladra Mordock is seen up r. 



stage, leaning a bit over the balustrade of the 
porch and shielding her eyes viith her hand 
from the late afternoon sun as she seemingly 
looks up the Pass to the L., as if expecting the 
approach of someone. Her gown is simple, 
girlish, and attractive, and made of summery, 
filmy stuff. Her hair is done up in the sim- 
plest fashion with a part in the centre, and 
there is about her every indication of an effort 
to assume that girlishness of demeanor which 
has been her greatest asset through life. Wil- 
LAKD Bbockton enters from h.;heis a man 
six feet or more in height, stocky in buHd, 
clean-shaven and immaculaiely dressed. He 
is STnoking a cigar, and upon entering takes 
one step forward arid looks over toward Laura 



Will. Blue? 

Laura. No. 

Will. What's up? 

Laura. Nothing. 

Will. A little preoccupied. 

Laura. Perhaps. 

Will. What's up that way? 

Laura. Which way? 

Will. The way you are looking. 

Lauka. The road from Manitou Springs. 
They call it the trail out here, 

WiLi:. I know that. You know I've 
done a lot of business west of the Missouri. 

Laura [with a half-sigh]. No, I did n't 

Will. Oh, yes; south of here in the San 
Juan country. Spent a couple of years 

Laura [stilt without turning]. That's 
interesting. 

Will. It was then. I made some money 
there. It's always interesting when you 
make money. Still — 

Lauka [still leaning in an absent-minded 
attitude]. StOIwhat? 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Will. Can't make out why yon have 
your eyes glued on that road. Someone 
coming? 

Laora. Yea. 

Will. One of Mrs. Williams' friends, eh? 
[Will crosses up, sits on seal l. c] 

Laura. Yes. 

Will. Yours too? 

Laura. Yes. 

Will. Man? 

Laura. Yes, a real man. 

Will [catches the significance of tiiis 
speech. He carelessly throws the cigar oner 
the halvstrade. He tomes down l. and ham 
on chair wtlfi his back to Lauka. She has not 
moved more than to -place her left hand on a 
cushion and lean her head rather tDearUy 
against it, looking steadfasUy up the Pass]. 
A real man. By that you mean — 

Laura. Just that — a real man. 

Will. Any difference from the many 
you have known? 

Lauba. Yes, from all I have known. 

Will. So that ia why you did n't come 
into Denver to meet me to-day, but left 
word for me to come out here? 

Lauha. Yes. 

Will. 1 thought that I was pretty de- 
cent to take a dusty ride halfway across the 
continent in order to keep you company on 
your way back to New York, and welcome 
you to our home; but maybe I had the 
wrong idea. 

Laura. Yes, I think you had the wrong 

Will. In love, eh? 

Lauha. Yes, just that — in love 

Laura, No; the first conviction 

Will. You have had that idea before 
Every woman's love is the real one whec 
it comes. [Crosses up to Laura ] Do vou 
make a distinction in this case ^oung 
lady? 

Laura. Yes. 

Will. For instance what? 

Laura. This man la poor — ab<iolutelv 
broke. He has n't even got a [crosses r. to 
armchair, hans over and draws v^tk parasol 
on ground] good job. You know, Witl, all 
the rest, including yourself, generally had 
some material inducement. 



.Will. What's bis I 
[Will crosses 
looking at n 
Laura. He's 

Will. H'm-m. Romance? 
Laura. Yes, if you want to call it that 



e and sits 



Will. Do I know him? 

Laura. Howcouidyou? You only came 
from Xew York to-day, and he has never 
been there. 

[He regards her with a rather 
amused, indulgent, almost pater- 
ned expression, in conts'ost to his 
big, Uuff physical personality, 
■udth ftis irortrgray hair and his 
bulldog expression. Laura looks 
more girlish thart ever. This is 
imperative in order to thoroughly 
uTiderstand the character.] 

Will. How old is he? 

Laura. Twenty-seven. You're forty- 

WiLL. No, forty-six. 
Laura, Shall I tell you about him? 
Huh? 

[Crosses l. to Will, placing para- 






e-L.] 



Will. That depends. 
Laura. On what? 
Will. Yourself. 
Laura. In what way? 
Will. If it will interfere in the least 
with the plans I have made for you and for 

Laura. And have you made any partic- 
ular plans for me that have an3rthing par- 
tKiiIarly to do with you? 

Will. Yes, I have given up the lease 
of our apartment on West End Avenue, 
and I 've got a house on Riverside Drive. 
Everythiiy; will be quiet and decent, and 
it'll be more comfortable for you. There's 
a stable near by, and your horses and car 
can be kept over there. You '11 be your own 
mistress, and besides I've fixed you up for 
a new part. 

Laura. A new part! What kind of a 
part? 

Will. One ot Charlie Burgess's shows, 
translated from some French fellow. It's 
been running over in Paris, Berlin, and 



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Vienna, and all those places for a year or 
more, and appears to be an awful hit. It's 
going to cost a lot of money. 1 told Charlie 
he could put me down for a half interest, 
and I'd give all the money providing you 
got an important rfile. Great part, I'm 
told. Kind of a cross between a musical 
comedy and an opera. Looks as if it might 
stay in New York ail season. So that's the 
change of plan. How does it strike you? 
[Laura crosses l. to door, medilal- 
ing; pmwes in thought.] 

Lauba. I don't know. 

Will. Feel like quitting? [Turns to her.] 

Ladba. I can't tell. 

Will. It's the newspaper man, eh? 

Laura. That would be the only reason. 

Will. You've been on the square with 
me this summer, have n't you? 

[Crosses l. to t<Ale.] 

Laitba [tuTns, looks at Will]. What do 
you mean by "on the square"? 

Will. Don't evade. There's only one 
meaning when I say that, and you know it. 
I 'm pretty liberal. But you understand 
where I draw the line. You've not jumped 
that, have you, Laura? 

Laura. No, this has been such a won- 
derful summer, such a wonderfully different 
summer. Can you understand what 1 
mean by that when I say "wonderfully 
different summer"? [Crossmg to Will.] 

Will. Well, he's twenty-seven and 
broke, and you're twenty-five and pretty; 
and he evidently, being a newspaper man, 
has that peculiar gift of gab that we call 
romantic expression. So I guess I'm not 
blind, and you both think you've fallen in 
love. That it? 

Laura. Yes, I think that's about it; 
only I don't agree to the "^ft of gab" and 
the "romantic" end of it. [Crosses l. to 
table.] He's a man and I'm a woman, and 
we both have had our experiences. I don't 
think. Will, that there can be much of that 
element of what some folks call hallucina- 

[Sils on chair l.; takes candy-box 
on lap; selects candy.] 
Will. Then the Riverside Drive propo- 
sition and Burgess's show is off, eh? 
Laura. I did n't say that. 



Will. And if you go back 
land Limited day after 
just as soon I'd go to-morrow o 
the day after you leave? 

[Laura jdaces candy-box bt. 
table.] 

Laura. I did n't say that, either. 

Will. What's the game? 

Laura. I can't tell you now. 

Will. Waiting for him to come? 



the Over- 

you'd 

wmt until 



[Cro. 









Lauea. Exactly, 

Will. Think he is going to make a 
proposition, eh? 

Laura. I know he is. 

Will. Marriage? 

Laura. Possibly, 

Will. You've tried that once, and taken 
the wrong end. Are you going to play the 
same g:mie again? 

Lauea. Yes, but with a different card. 
[Picks up magazine off table l.) 

Will. What's his name? 

Lauea. Madison — John Madison. 

[Slowly turning pages of magazine.] 

WiLii, And his job? 

Laura. Reporter. 

Will. What are you going to live on ■ — 
the extra editions? 

Laura. No, we're young, there's plenty 
of time. I can work in the meantime, and 
so can he; and then with his ability and my 
abihty it will only be a matter of a year or 
two when things will shape themselves to 
make it possible. 

Will. Sounds well — a year off, 

Laura. If I thought you were going to 
make fun of me, Will, I should n't have 
talked to you. 

[Throws down magaxive, crosses l. 
to door of hOTise.] 

Will IcrosHng down l. in front of table]. 
I don't want to make fun of you, but you 
must nialize that after two years it is n't 
an easy thing to be dumped with so little 
ceremony. Maybe you have never given 
me any credit for possessing the slightest 
feeling, but even I can receive shocks from 
other sources than a break in the market. 

Lauka [crosses r. to Will]. It is n't easy 
for me to do this. You've been awfully 
kind, awfully considerate, but when I went 



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to you it was just with the understanding 
that we were to be pals. You reserved the 
right then to quit me whenever you felt 
like it, and you gave me the same privilege. 
Now, if some girl came along who really 
captivated you in the right way, and you 
wanted to marry, it would hurt me a little, 
— maybe a lot, — but I should never tor- 
get that agreement we made, a sort of two 
weeks' notice clause, like people have in 
contraota. 

Will [he is evidently very much moued. 
Walks -up stage to a. ejid of seat, looks over the 
canon. Laura looks after him. Will Aos 
his back to the audience. Long pause]. I'm 
not hedging, Laura. If that's the way you 
want it to be, I'll stand by just exactly 
what I said [(urns i» to Laura], but I'm 
fond of you, a damn sight fonder than I 
thought I was, now that I find you slipping 
away; but if this young fellow is on the 
square [Lauba crosses to Wiu. at r. c, 
taking his right hand] and he has youth and 
ability, and you've been on the square with 
him, why, ail right. Your life has n't had 
much in it to help you get a diploma from 
any celestial college, and if you can start 
out now and be a good girl, have a good 
husband, and maybe some day good chil- 
dren ILauba sighs], why, I'm not going to 
stand in the way. Only I don't want you 
to make any of those mistakes that you 
made before. 

Latjba. I know, but somehow I feel that 
this time the real thing has come, and with 
it the real man. 1 can't tell you, Will, how 
much diflerent it is, but everything I felt 
before seems so sort of earthly — and some- 
how this love that I have for this man is so 
different. It's made me want to be truth- 
ful and sincere and humble for the first 
time in my life. The only other thing I 
ever had that I cared the least bit about, 
now that I look back, was your friendship. 
We have been good pais, have n't we? 

[Puts arms about Will.] 

Will. Yes, it's been a mighty good two 
years for me. 1 was always proud to take 
you around, because I thint you one of 
the prettiest things in New York [Laura 
crosses h., and girlishly jumps into arm- 
chair], and that helps some, and you're 



always jolly, and you never complained. 
You always spent a lot of money, but it 
was a pleasure to see you spend it; and 
then you never offended me. Most women 
offend men by coming around looking un- 
tidy and sort of unkempt, but somehow 
you always knew the value of your beauty, 
and you always dressed up, I always 
thought that maybe some day the fellow 
would come along, grab you, and make you 
happy in a nice way, but I thought that 
he'd have to have a lot ot money. You 
know you've lived a rather extravagant hfe 
for five years, Laura. It won't be an easy 
job to come down to cases and suffer for the 
little dainty necessities you 've been used to. 

Laura. I've thought all about that, and 
I think I understand. 

[Facing audience, leaning elbows 
mlap.] 

Will. You know if you were working 
without anybody's help, Laura, you might 
have a hard time getting a position. As an 
actress you're only fair. 

Laura. You need n't remind me of that. 
That part of my life is my own. [Crosses 
■up to seat.] I don't want you to start now 
and make it harder for me to do the right 
thing. It is n't fair; it is n't square; and it 
is n't right. You've got to let me go my 
own way. [Crosses to Will, puts b. hand on 
kis shoulder.] I'm sorry to leave you, in a 
way, but I want you to know that if 1 go 
with John it changes the spelling of the 
word comradeship into love, and mistress 
into wife. Now please don't talk any more, 
[Crosses r. to post, lakes scarf off 
chair b.] 

Will. Just a word. Is it settled? 

Ladba [impatiently]. I said 1 did n't 
know. I would know to-day — that's 
what I'm waiting for. Oh, I don't see why 
he does n't come. 

[Will turns up to seat looking over 
Pass L.] 

Will [pointing up the Pass], Is that the 
fellow coming up here? 

Laura [•^ckly running toward the balus- 
trade of seat i..,sairing as she goes:] Where? 
[Kneels on seat.] 

Will [pirinting]. Up the road there. On 
that yellow horse. 



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179 



Lajjra [looking]. Yes, that's John. {She 
looues her handkerchief, and pulling orte hand 
lo her mouth cries;] Hello ! 

John [0^ stage vdth the effect as if he was 
on the road winding up toward the house]. 
Hello, yourself ! 

Laura [sanw effect]. Hurry up, you're 
late. 

John [same effect, a little Imtder]. Better 
late than never. 

Laura [same effect]. Hurry up. 

John [UUle louder]. Not with this horse. 

Laura [to Will, mtk enthusiastic expres- 
sion]. Now, Will, does he look lite a yellow 
reporter? 

Will [vntk a sort of sad smiie]. He is a 
good-looldng chap, 

Laura [looking dowji again at John). Oh, 
he'a just simply more than that. [Turns 
guickly to Will.] Where's Mrs. Williams? 

Will [motioning with thumb toward l. 
side of ranch house]. Icside, I guess, up to 
her neck in bridge. 

Lauea [goes hurriedly over to door l.], 
Mrs. WiHiams! Oh, Mrs. Williams! 

Mh8, Wjlliams [heard off stage]. What 
is it, my dear? 

Laura. Mr. Madison is combg up the 

Mrs. Williams [of steje]. That's good. 
Laura. Shan't you come and see him? 
Mrs. Williams [same]. Lord, no! I'm 
six dollars and twenty cents out now, and 
up against an awful streak of luck. 
Laura. Shall I give him some tea? 
Mrs. Williams [same]. Yes, do, dear; 
and tell him to cross his fingers when he 
thinks of me. 

[In the meantime Will has leaned 
over the balustrade, evider^y sur- 
veying the young man, who le 
supposed to be coming up the 
paA, with a great deed of interest 
Underneath his stolid ftusinesa- 
like demeanor of squareness, 
there is undoiAledly vnthm ftts 
heart a very great affection for 
Laura. He realizes thai during 
her whtde career he has been the 
only one who has influenced her 
ahsolutdy. Since the time that 
they lived together he has always 



dominated, and he has always 
endeavored io lead her along a 
path that meant the better things 
of a Bohemian existence. His 
coming idl the way from New 
York to Denver to accompany 
Laura home vxts simply ant^her 
example of his keen interest in 
the woman, and he svddeidy finds 
that she has drifted away from 
him in a manner to which he 
could not in the least object, and 
that she had been absolutely fair 
(Wid square in her agreement with 
him. Will is a man who, while 
rough and rugged in many ways, 
possessts many of the finer in- 
s(tw(5 of refinement, latent 
though they may be, and his 
meeting with John ought, there- 
fore, to show much significance, 
because on his impressions of the 
young man depend the entire 
juslitication of his (^titiide in the 
ptej/l 
Lauh^ [turning toward Will and going 
to him ''hpping her hand involunlarily 
through kts arm and looking eagerly with him 
over the balustrade in almost girlish enUiusi- 
asm]. Do you like him? 
Will [smiling]. I don't know him, 
Laura. Well, do you think you'll like 

Wilu Well, I hope I'll like him. 

Laura. WeD, if you hope you'll like 
him you ought to think you like him. He '11 
turn the comer of that rock in just a min- 
ute and then you can see him. Do you 

WiLii [almost amused at her girlish man- 
ner]. Why, yea — do you? 

Laura. Do I? Why, I have n't seen him 
since last night! There he is. [Waves her 
hand.] Hello, John! 

[Gets candy-box, throws pieces of 
candy at John.| 

John [his voice very close now]. Hello, 
girlie! How's everything? 

Laura. Fine! Do hurry. 

John. Just make this horse for a minute. 
Hurry is not in his dictionary. 

Laura. I'm coming down to meet yoii. 



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John. All — right. 

'LiVaA[iums quickly toWiu.], You don't 
care. You'll wait, won't you? 
Will. Surely. 

ILaura hurriedly exits n. and dis- 
appears. Will goes doxvn c] 

iAJler a short interval Laoba coTnes in more 
like a swieen-yeor-oM ptri than anything 
else, 'pidling Sobs ofter her. He is a loll, 
finely built tj/pe of Western manhood, a 
frank face, a quick nervous energy, a 
mind that works like lightning, a pre- 
posaesging smik, and a personidity that 
is wholly captivating. His clothes are a 
bit dusty from the ride, but are not in the 
least pretentions, and his leggins are of 
canvas and spurs of brass, such as are 
■used in the army. His hat is off and he 
M puUed on to the stage from the b. en- 
trance, more like a greai big boy than a 
man. His hair is a bit tumbled, and he 
shows every iTidicalion of having had a 
rather long and hard ride.] 
Lacra. Hello, John 1 
JoBN. Hello, girlie! 

[Then she suddenly recovers herself 

and realiies the position that she 

it in. BoA men measure eaek 

other for a moment i 

neilher flinching the 

The smik has faded fn 

face and (he mouth 

expression offii 

Laura for a moment loses her 

ingenvousrtess. She is the least 

bit frightened at finaliy placing 

the two men face to face, and in a 

voice that trembles slightly from 

apprehension:] 

Lapba. Oh, I beg your pardon I Mr, 

Madison, this is Mr. Brockton, a friend of 

mine from New York. You 've often heard 

me speak of him; he came out here to keep 

me company when I go home. 

John [comes forward, extends a hand, 
looking Will right in the eye], I am very 
glad to know you, Mr. Brockton. 
WiLi. Thank you. 

John. I've heard a (treat deal about you 
and your kindness to Miss Murdock. Any- 
thing that you have done for her m a spirit 



of friendhness I am sure all her friends must 
deeply appreciate, and 1 count myself in 

Will [in an easy manner thai ratJier dis- 
arms the antagonistic attitiide of Josn]. Then 
we have a good deal in common, Mr. Madi- 
son, for I also count Miss Murdoek a friend, 
and when two friends of a friend have the 
pleasure of meeting, I dare say that's a 
pretty good foundation for them to become 
friends too. 

JoHH. Possibly. Whatever my opinion 
may have been of you, Mr. Brockton, be- 
fore you arrived, now I have seen you — 
and I'm a man who forms his conclusions 
right off the bat — I don't mind telling you 
that you've agreeably surprised me. That's 
just a first impression, but they run kind o' 
strong with me. 

Will. Well, young man, I size up a fel- 
low in pretty short order, and all things 
being equal, I think you'll do. 

Latjha [radiantly]. Shall 1 get the tea? 

Jobs'. "Tea! 

Lacra. Yes, tea. You know it must be 
tea — nothing stronger. 

[Crosses L. to door.] 

JoBN [looking at Will rather comically]. 
How strong are you for that tea, Mr, 
Brockton? 

Will. I'll pass; it's your deal, Mr. 
Madison. 

John. Minel No, deal me out this hand. 

Laura. Idon't think you 're at all pleas- 
ant, but I'Q tell you one thing — it's tea 
this deal or no game. 

[Crosses up stage to seat, picks up 
magadne, turns pa,ges.] 

Wiu.. No game theo [crosses l. to door], 
and I'm going to help Mrs. Williams; 
maybe she's lost nearly seven dollars by 
this time, and I'm an awful dub when it 
comes to bridge. [ExiL] 

Latjra [tossing magaxine on to seat, crosses 
quickly to John, throws her arms around Aia 
neck in the most loving manner]. John I 

[As the ad progresses the shadows 
cross the Pass and golden light 
streams across the lower hiUs and 
tops the snow-clad peaks. It 
becorws darker and darker, the 
lights fade to beautiful opalescent 



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hues, until, when the curtain 
cornea on the act, mtk John and 
Will on the scene, it is pitch 
dark, a faint glow coming out of 
the door at b. Nothing else can 
be seen but the gUnn of ths ash on 
lAe end of each man's cigar as he 
jm/s if in silent meditation on 
their comwsofion.] 

John. Well, dear? 

Laoba. Are you going to be cross with 

John. Why? 

Laura, Because he came? 

John. Brockton? 

Laura. Yes. 

John, You did n't know, did you? 

Laura. Yes, I did. 

John, That he was coming? 

Laura. He wired me when he reached 
Kansas City. 

John. Does he know? 

Laura. About ua? 

John. Yes. 

Laura. I've told him. 

John. When? 

Laura. To-day. 

John. Here? 

Laura. Yes. 

John. With what result? 

Laura. I tJiinfc it hurt him. 

John. Naturally. 

Laura. More than I had any idea it would. 

John. I'm sorry. [Sits in armchair,] 

Laura. He cautioned rue to be very 
careful and to be sure I knew my way. 

John, That was right, 

[Laura gets a cushion in each hand 
oiff seal; crosses dtrum to l. of 
armchair, tkrov!S one cushion on 
ground, then the other on top of U, 
and kneels beside his chair. 
Piano in house playing a Chopin 
Nocturne.] 

Laura. John. 

John. Yes. 

Laura. We'vebeenvery happy all sum- 

JoHN. Very. 

Latira Irises, sits on l. arm. of chair, her 
arm over back]. And this thing has gradu- 
ally been growing on us? 



John. That's true. 

Lattra. I did n't think that when I came 
out here to Denver to play in a Uttle stock 
company, it was going to bring me all this 
happiness, but it has, has n't it? 
John. Yes. 

Latjra [(hanging her position, sits on his 
lap, arms around his neck]. And now the 
season's over and there is nothing to keep 
me in Colorado, and I've got to go back to 
New York to work. 

John, I know; 1 've been awake all night 
thinking about it. 
Lauha. Well? 
John. WeU? 

Laiira. What are we going to do? 
John. Why, you've got to go, I suppose, 
Laura. Is it good-bye? 
John. For a while, I suppose — it's 
good-bye. 

Laura. What do you mean by a while? 

[Lai-sa (urns John's face to her, 

looks at him searchingly,] 

John. Until [piano plays crescendo, then 

softens doien] I get money enough together, 

and am malting enough to support you, 

then come and take you out of the show 

buainetss and naake you Mrs. Madison. 

[Lauha tightens her arm around his 
neck, her cheek goes close to his 
otvn, and aU the wealth of affeii- 
lion that the woman is capable of 
at times is shoxon. She seems 
more like a dainty little kitten 
purring cUise to Us master. Her 
whole thought and idea seem to he 
censed on the man whom she 
professes to love.] 
Lauka. John, that is what I want above 
everything else. 

John. But, Laura, we must come to 
some distinct understanding before we 
start to make our plans. We're not chil- 

Laura, No, we're not. 

John. Now in the first place [Laura 
rises, crosses to c] we'll discuss you, and in 
the second place we'll discuss me. We'll 
keep nothing from each other [Laura picks 
up cushions, places them on seat], and we '11 
start out on this campaign (Laura turns 
back to V.., facing audience] of decency and 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



honor, fully understanding its responsibili- 
ties, without a ebaiice of a come-back on 
either side. 

liWRi [becoming very serious]. You mean 
that we should t«U each other all about 
each other, so, no matter what's ever 
about us by other people, we'U, know it 
firat? 

Jomi [rising]. That's precisely what I 'n 
trying to get at. 

Laura. Well, John, there are so many 
things I don't want to speak of even to you. 
It is n't easy for a woman to go back and 
dig up a lot of ugly memories and try to 

[Crosses 1^ to front of tabk, picks up 
magasine, places it on table i \ 
JoBN. I've known everything from the 
first; how you came to San Francisco i 
kid and got into the show business, and how 
you went wrong, and then how you mar- 
ried, still a kid, and how your husband 
did n't treat you exactly right, and then 
how, in a fit of drunkenness, he came home 
and shot himself. [Laura bwries her head tn 
her hoMs, making exclamations of horror. 
John crosses to her as if sorry for hurling 
her, touches her on shoidder.] But that's all 
past now, and we can forget that. And I 
know how you were up against it after that, 
howtoughitwaaforyoutogetalong. Then 
finally how you 've lived, and — and that 
you and this man Brockton have been — 
well — never mind. I've known it all for 
months, and I've watched you. Now, 
Laura, the habit of life is a hard thii^ to 
get away from. You've lived in this way 
for a long time. If I ask you to be my wife 
you'li have to give it up; you 11 have to go 
back to New York and stru^le on your 
own hook until I get enough to come for 
yoo. I don't know how long that will be, 
but it wiU be. Do you love me enough to 
stick out for the r^ht thing? 

[Lapra crosses c. to him, puts her 

arms around him, kisses him 

once very affectionately, looks at 

him very earnestly.} 

Laitiia. Yes, I think this is my one 

great chance. 1 do love you and I want to 

do just what you said. 

John. I think you wiB. I'm going to 



make the same promise. Your life, dear 
girl, has been an angel's compared with 
mine. I've drank whiskey, played bank, 
and raised hell ever since the time I could 
develop a thirst; and ever since I've been 
abie to earn my own living I've abiKed 
every natural gift God gave me. The 
women I've associated with aren't good 
enough to touch the hem of your skirt, but 
they liked me, and [John crosses n. to arm- 
chair, (mtos up slage, then faces her] well — I 
must have liked them. My life has n't 
been exactly loose, it's been all in pieces. 
I've never done anything dishonest, I've 
always gone wrong just for the fun of it, 
until 1 met you. [Grasses to her, lakes her in 
his arms.] Somehow then I began to feel 
that I was making an awful waste of myself. 

J.(AUHA. John I 

John, Some lovers place a woman on a 
pedestal and say, "She never has made a 
mistake." [Taking her by each arm he play- 
fully shakes her.) Well, we don't need any 
pedestals. I just know you never will make 
a mistake. 

Laura [kissing him]. John, I '11 never 
make you take those words back. 

[Arms around his neck,] 

John. That goes double. You're going 
to cut out the cabs and caf6s, and I'm go- 
ing to cut out the whiskey and all-night 
sessions [Laura releases him; he backs 
slightly away c.]; and you're going to be 
somebody and I'm going to be somebody, 
and if my hunch is worth the powder to 
blow it up, we 're going to show folks things 
they never thought were in us. Come on 

[She kisses him, tears are in her 
eyes. H e looks into her face mith 
a quaint smile,] 
John. You're on, ain't you, dear? 
Laura. Yes, I'm on. 
John. Then [points toward door with his 
L. arm over her shoulder] call him. 
Laura, Brockton? 

John. Yes, and tell him you go back to 
New York without any travelling com- 
panion this season. 
Laura. Now? 
John. Sure. 
Lauba. You want to hear me tell him? 



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183 



John [with a smilej. We're partners, 
are n't we? I ought to be in on any im- 
portant transactioa like that, but it's just 
as you say. 

Laura. I think it would be right you 
should. I'll call him now. 

John. Allright. [Crossings, to stairway.] 
[She crosses to door L.; linUigkt is, 
becoming very muck more pro- 
nounced.] 

Lattha ]at door], Mr. Brockton! Oh, 
Mr. Brockton! 

Win. [off stage]. Yes. 

Lacba. Can you spare a moment to 
come out here? 

Will. Just a moment. 

Latjba. You must come now. 

Will. All right. [She icaits for him and 
(^ter a reasonoMe inienial he o,ppears at door.] 
Laura, it's a shame to lure me away from 
that mad speculation in there. I thought 
I might make my fare back to New York i( 
I played until next summer. What's up? 

Laura. Mr. Madison wants to talk to 
you, or rather I do, and I want him to listen. 

Will [his manner changing to one of cold, 
stdid calculation]. Very well. 

[Comes down off step of kovse.] 

Laura. Will. 

Will. Yes? 

Ladha. I'm going home day after to- 
morrow on the Overland Limited. 

Will. I know. 

Laura. It's awfully kind of you to come 
out here, but under the circumstances I'd 
rather you 'd take an earlier or a later train. 

Will. And may I ask what circum- 
Btancca you refer to? 

Latjra. Mr. Madison and I are Roing to 
be married. [Pause.] He [Will looks in 
guiringly at John] knows of your former 
friendship for me, and he has the idea that 

Will. Then the Riverside Drive propo- 
sition, with Burgess's show thrown in, is 
declared off, eh? 

Laura. Yes; eveiything is absolutelj 
declared off. 

Will. Can't even be friends any more, 



di? 



[Joi 



L., and faking 



to seat, his back is partly to aw- 
diejice.] 
John. You could hardly expect Miss 
Murdock to be friendl.v with you under the 
You could hardly expect 
[Laura puis scarf across her sAouMers] 
any such friendship. 
Will. I think I understand yom- posi- 
tion, young man, and I perfectly agree with 
you, that is — if your plans come out 

JoHs. Thank you. 

Lau EiA. Then everything is settled [cross- 
mi; in front of John to l. c, facing Will, 
back to audience] just the way it ought to 
be — frankly and aboveboard? 

Will. WTi\ I gues" so If I was per 
fectly confident that this new arrangement 
was fcoing to result happily f sr you both I 
think it would bp great only I m some 
what loubtful for when people become 
serio 1 and then fail I know how hard 
those things hit having been hit once 
mi-self 

Sony So \ou think we re makmg a 
wrong move and there is n t a chance of 

n ILL No I don t make ans such 
gloomv prophecy If you make Laura a 
good huiband and 'ihe makes jou a good 
wife and together \ou ■ftin out I 11 be 
mightv frlad As far a'j I am cone rned I 
shall ibsoluteU fjrget everv thought of 
Laura s fnen Iship for me 

L\OKA I thought you d be just that 
way. [Crosses to Will, shakes hands.] 

Will [rising). And now I must be off. 
[Takes her by both hands and shakes them.] 
Good-bye, girlie I Madison, good luck. 
[Cro'^SiS R. to John. Shakes John's hands, 
looks i-^to hts eyes.] I think you've got the 
stuff m ■vou to succeed it your foot don't 

John \^hat do you mean by my foot 
shppmg Mr. Brockton? 

W ILL. \o<i want me to tell you? 

John I sure do. 

Will [turns l. to Laura]. Laura, run 
into the house and see if Mrs. Williams has 
won another quarter. [Laura sinks fear- 
fully into chair L.j Madison and I are go- 
ing to smoke a cigar and have a friendly 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



chat, and when we get through I think we'll 
both be better off. 

Ladba. You are sure that everything 
will be all right? 

Wlu. Sure. 

ILatjra looks at John for assur- 
ance, exits L., he nods reassur- 
ingly.] 

WiM.. Have a cigar? 

[Servant in house places lamp on 
UMe inside hovse.\ 

John. No, I'll smoke my own. 

[Crosses down r,, sits in armchair.] 

Will. What is your business? 

[CrMsee up to seal c, sits.] 

John. What's yours? 

Will. I "ma broker. 

John. I'm a reporter, so I've got some- 
thing on you. 

Will. What kind? 

John. General utility, dramatic critic 
on Sunday nights. 

Will. Pay you well? 

John [dims, looHng at Will]. That's 
pretty fresh. What's the idea? 

Will. I'm interested. I'm a plain man, 
Mr. Madison, and I do business in a plain 
way. Now if I ask you a few questions and 
discuss this matter with you in a frank way. 
don't get it in your head that I'm jealous 
or sore, but simply I don't want either of 
you people to make a move that's going to 
cost you a lot of pain and trouble. If you 
want me to talk sense to you, all right. If 
you don't we'll drop it now. What's the 

John. I'll take a chance, but before you 
start I want to tei! you that the class of 
people that you belong to I have no use 
for — they don't speak my lajiguage. You 
are what they call a manipulator of stocks; 
that means that you're living on the weak- 
nesses of other people, and it almost means 
that you get your daily bread, yes, and 
your cake and your wine too, from the pro- 
duction of others. You're a "gambler un- 
der cover." Show me a man who's dealing 
bank, and he's free and aboveboard. You 
can figure the percentage against you, and 
then if you buck the tiger and get stung, 
you do it with your eyes open. With your 
financiers the game is crooked twelve 



montlis of the year, and from a business 
point of view, I think you are a crook. Now 
I guess we understand each other. If 
you 've got anything to say, why, spill it. 
[Will rises, comes dovm a. c. to- 
ward John, shouting anger in his 
tones.] 
Will. We are not talking business now, 
but women. How much -money do you 

[Crosses i.. to chair l. of tabk; gets 
it.] 
John. Understand, I don't think it is 
any of your damn business, but I'm going 
through with you on this proposition, just 
to see how the land lays. But take my tip, 
you be mighty careful how you speak about 
the girl it you're not looking for trouble. 

Will. All right, but how much did you 
say you made? 

[Crosses right to r. c, carrying 

John. Thirty dollars a week. 

Will. Do you know how mueh Laura 
could make if she just took a job on her 
own merits? 

John. As 1 don't intend to share in her 
salary, I never took the trouble to inquire. 

Will. She'd get about forty dollars. 

John. That laps me ten. 

Will. How are you going to support 
her? Her cabs cost more than your salary, 
and she pays her week's salary for an every- 
day waiiing-hat. She's always had a maid; 
her simplest gown flirts with a hundred- 
dollar note; her manicurist and her hair- 
dresser will eat up as much as you pay for 
your board. She never walks when it's 
stormy, and every afternoon there's her 
ride in the park. She dines at the beat 
places in New York, and one meal costs her 
more than you make in a day. Do you 
imagine for a moment that she's going to 
sacrifice these luxuries for any great length 
of time? 

JotiN. I intend to give them to her. 

Will. On thirty dollars a week? 

John. I propose to go out and make a 
lot of money. 

Wiu.. How? 

John. I have n't decided yet, but you 
can bet your sweet life that if 1 ever try 



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i8S 



and make up my mind that it's got to be, 
it's got to be. 

Will. Never have made it, have you? 

John. I have never tried. 

Will. Then how do you know you can? 

John. Well, I'm honest and energetic. 
If you can get great wealth the way you go 
along, I don't see why I can't earn a little. 

Will. There's where you make a mis- 
take. Money-getting does n't always come 
with brilliancy. I know a lot of fellows in 
New York who can paint a great picture, 
write a good play, and when it comes to 
oratory, they've got me laahed to a pole; 
but they're always in debt. Tiiey never 
get anything for what they do. In other 
words, young man, they are like a sky- 
rocket without a stick — plenty of bnl- 
liflncy, but no direction, and they blow up 
and fizzle all over the ground. 

John. That's New York. I'm in Colo- 
rado, and I guess you know there is a 
difference. 

Will. I hope you'll make your money, 
because I tell you frankly that's the only 
way yon can hold this girl. She's full of 
heroics now, self-sacrifice, and all the 
things that go to make up the third act of 
a play, but the minut* she comes to dam 
her stockings, wash out her own handker- 
chiefs and dry them on the window, and 
send out for a pail of coffee and a sandwich 
for lunch, take it from me it will go Blah! 
[Rises, croeses l. to front of lable, mth 
chair, places U ivitk back to him, braces his 
back on U, facing SovK.] You 're in Colorado 
writing her letters once a day with no 
cheeks in them. That may be all right for 
some girl who has n't lasted the joy of easy 
living, full of the good things of life, but 
one who for ten years has been doing very 
well in the way these women do is not going 
to let up for any great length of time. So 
take my advice if you want to hold her. 
Get that money quick, and don't be so 
damned particular how you get it either. 
[John's patience is evidently se- 
verely tried. He approaches 
Will, who^emains impassive.] 

Joan. Of course you know you've got 
the best of me. 

Will. How? 



John. We're guests. 
Will. No one's listening. 
John. 'T is n't that. If it was anywhere 
but here, if there was any way to avoid all 
the nasty scandal, I'd come a-shootin' for 
you, and you know it. 
Will. Gun-fighter, eh? 
John. Perhaps. Let me tell you this. I 
don't know how you make your money, 
but I know what you do with it. You buy 
yourself a small circle of sycophants; yon 
pay them well for feeding your vanity; and 
then you pose — pose with a certain frank 
admission of vice and degradation. And 
those who are n't quite as brazen as you 
call it manhood. Manhood? [CTossing slowly 
B. to armchaiT, sits.] Why, you don't know 
what the word means. It's the attitude of 
a pup and a cur. 

Will [angrily]. Wait a minute [crosses 
R. to John], young man, or I'll — 

[John rises quickly. Both men 
stand confronting each other for 
a moment with fists clinched. 
They are on Uie very verge of a 
personal encounter. Both seem to 
realize that they have gone too 
far.] 
John. You'll what? 
Will. Lose my temper and make a 
damn fool of myself. That's something 
I've nol^ done for — let roe see — why, it 
must be nearly twenty years — oh, yes, 
fully that. 

[He smiles; John relaxes and takes 
one step back.] 
John. Possibly it's been about that 
length of time since you were human, eh? 
Will. Possibly — but you see, Mr. 
Madison, after all you're at fault. 
John. Yes? 

Will. Yes, the very first thing you did 
was to lose your t«mper. Now people who 
always lose their temper will never make a 
lot of money, and you admit that that is 
a great necessity — I mean now — to you. 
John. I can't stand for the brutal way 
you talk. 

[Crosses up to seat, pkks up news- 
paper, slants it down angrily on 
seat, and sits facing r,, elbow on 
balvstrade.] 



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Wiw,. Butyouhave got tostandit. The 
truth is never gentle. [Crosses up and sits 
i« (if John.] Most conditions in iks are nn- 
pleaaant, and if you want to meet them 
squarely, you have got to realize the un- 
pleaBant point of view. That's the only 
way you can fight them and win. 

John [htms lo Will]. Still, I believe 
Laura means what she says, in spite of all 
you aay and the disagreeable logic of it. I 
think she loves me. If she should ever want 
to go back to the old way of getting along, 
1 think she'd tell me so. So you see, Brock- 
ton, all your taJk is wasted, and we'll drop 
the subject. 

[Crosses dovm and sits in armchair 
R., facing b.] 

Will. And if she should ever go back 
and come to me, I am going to insist that 
she let you know all about it. It'll be hard 
enough to lose her, caring for her the way 
you do, but it would hurt a lot more to be 
double-crossed. 

John [sarcastically]. That's very kind. 
Thanks! 

Will. Don't get sore. It's common 

John [(urns to Will]. Just what goes? 
Will. If she leaves you first, you are to 
tell me, and if she comes to me, I '11 make 
her let you know just when and why. 

[John is leaning on arm, facing 
Will; kis hand shoots out in a 
gesture of warning to Will.) 
John. Look outi 
Will. I ss 
John. All right, 
Will. Agreed? 
John. You're a 
[By this t 



[A pause.] 



i« the stage i 



{ block and 
Uie glow of 
the two Hgars. Piano in the next 
room is heard. John crosses 
stoidy and deliberatelj/ l. to 
door, looks in, throws cigar away 
over the terrace, e:rits into house, 
closes doors, and as Will is 
seated on terrace, pyffing cigar, 
ifte red coal of which is alone 
visible, a slow curtain.] 



ACT II 

ScBNS. Six months have elapsed. The 
furnished room of Laura Muhdock, second 
stm^ back of on. ordinary cheap theatriad 
lodging-house in the theatre district of New 
York. The house ie evidently of a type of the 
old-fashioned brovm-slone front, wilh high 
ceilings, dingy tBolla, and long, rather in- 



ingly dark. The ceiling is cracked, the paper 
old and spotted and in places loose. There 
a door B. 2 leading lo the h^way, and run- 
ning from R. 2 lo B. 3. There is a large old- 
fashioned wardri^ in which are hung a few 
old clothes, most of (Aem a good deal worn and 
shabby, shomrtg that the owner — Laura 
McBDOCK — has had a rather hard time of it 
siTiee leaving Colorado in the ftrst act. The 
doors of this wardrobe must be equipped mth 
springs so that they will open oviward, and 
also furnished teilk wires so they can be am- 
tTolled from the back. This is absolutely 
necessary, owing to busirtess which is done 
during the progress of the act. The drawer in 
the bottom of the ivardrobe is open at rise. 
This is JWed wilh a lot of rumpled tissue 
paper and other rubbiBh. An old pair of 
shoes is seen at the upper end of the toardrobe 
an the floor. At h. C. is an armchair over 
which is thrown an ordinary himono, and 
on top of the wardrobe are a number of maga- 
zines and old books, and an icnused parasol 
lorapped up in (issue paper. 

The dresser, which is up stage and c. 
against the flat, is in keeping with the general 
meanness, and its adormnent consists of old 
post-cards stuck in between the mirror and its 
frame, with some well-worn veils and ribbons 
hung on the side. On the dresser is a pin- 
cushion, a bottle of cheap perfume, purple in 
color and nearly empty; a common crockery 
match-holder containing matches, which must 
be practicable; a handkerchief box, powder 
box and puff, rouge box and rouge paw, hand 
mirror, smaU alcohol curling-iron heater, 
which must also be practicable, as U is used 
in business of act; scissors, curling-tongs, 
hair comb and brush, and a small cheap pic- 
ture of John MAnisotj; a small work-box 
ccmtaining a thimble and thread, and stuck in 
the pincushion are a couple of needles 



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Directly to the left of the bureau, 
teilJi the door to the outside closet intervening, 
is a broken^owJi washsland, on which is a 
basin halffuU of water, a botUe of tooth pow- 
der, toothbrushes and holder, soap and soap- 
di^ OTid other cheap toilet articles, and a 
emaU drinhi-ng-glaas. Hung on the comer of 
the washstand is a soiled toiBel. Hung on the 
rack across the top of the washstand one can 
see a pair (if stockings. On the floor in front 
of the washsland is a pitcher ha^ ftdl of 
ivaler, also a large waste water jar of the 
cheapest type. 

Below the washsland, and with the head 
against the flat, is a three-quarter old wooden 
bed, also sh4>mng the general decay of the 
entire room. Tacked on the head of this bed 
is a large photo of John Madison, viith a 
BmaU bow of dainty btve ribbon at the top 
covering the tack. Under the photo are ar- 
ranged half a dozen cheap artificial violets, in 
pit^ul recognition of the girl's love for her 
absent sweellieaTt. 

Under the mattress at the head of the bed is 
a heavy cardboard box about thirty inches long, 
seven inches wide, and four inches deep, con- 
taining about one hundred and Iwenty-five 
letters and eighty lekgrams lied in about ei^hl 
bundles, witii dainty ribbon. One bundle must 
contain all practical letters of several closely 
written pages each, each letter hamng been 
opened. They must be written upon business 
paper and envelopes such as are used m 
newspaper offices and by business men. 

Under the pillow at the head of the bed 
is carelessly thrown a woman's ntght-dreis. 
Thrown on the bed is an old book, open, wUh 
face downward, and beside it is an apple 
which some one has been nibbling upon. 
Across the foot of the bed is a soiled quilt, un- 
tidily folded. The piUows are hollow in the 
centre, as if having been used lately. At the 
foot of the bed is a small table with soiled and 
ink-stained cover, upon which are a cheap 
pitcher cotdaining some withered carnations 
and a desk-pad, viith paper, pen, ink, and 
envelopes scallered around. 

Against the flat below the bed is an old 
mantelpiece and fireplace with iron grale, 
such as are used in houses of this type. On the 
mantelpiece are photos of actors and actresses, 
an old mantel clock in the centre, in front of 



which is a box of cheap peppermint candy in 
large pieces, and a plate mtk two apples upon 
it; some cheap pieces of bric-d-brac and a 
little vase containing joss-sticks, such as one 
might bum to improve the atmosphere of these 
dingy damp houses. Below the mantelpiece is 
a thirty-six-irtck theatre trunk, with theatre 
labels on U, in the tray of which are arlicles of 
clothing, a small box of thread, and a buniUe 
of eight pawn tickets. Behind the trunk is a 
large cardboard box. Hanging from the ceil- 
ing directly over the table is a single-arm gas- 
jet, from which is hung a turkep wishbone. 
On the jet is a little wire arrangement to hold 
small articles for heating. Beside the t<^iie 
C.isa chair. Under the bed is a pair of bed- 
room slippers and a box. Between the bed and 
the mantel is a small tabourelte on which is a 
book ajid a candlestick vntii the candle half 
burned. On the fioar in front of the door R. is 
a slipper, also another in front of the dresser, 
as if they had been thrown carelessly down. 
On theivardrobe door, on the down-stage side, 
is tacked another photo of John Madison. 

In alcove off l. is a table on which is a 
smalt oU stove, two cups, saucers, and plates, 
a box of matches, tin coffee-box, and a smaU 
Japanese teapot. On a projection outside the 
window B. in flat is a pint mUk bolUe half 
filled xnitk milk, and an empty bemine bottie, 
which is labelled. Both are covered V!ilk snow. 

The backing shows a street snow-covered. 
In arran^ng the properties it must be remem- 
bered thai in the wardrobe is a box of Uneeda 
biscuit, with one end torn open. There is a 
door doum R. 2 opening inward, leading into 
the hallumy. The ivindowa are at back r. 
Tunningfromfloornearly to the ceiling. This 
window does not rise, but opens in the manner 
of the French or door window. 

On the outside of the wijtdow covering the 
same is an iron guard such as is used in 
New York on the lower back windows. The 
rods running up and down are abotd four 
inches apart. There is a projection outside 
the window such as woxdd be formed by a 
storm door in the basement; running the ftdl 
length of the window and about thirty inches 
tvide, raised about a foot from the fiom' in 
front and about nine inches in the bode, there 
is opening inward a door at u back leading 
into a small alcove, as has been mentioned 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



b^ore. The door ts half glass, the glass part 
being the upper half of the door, and is ajar 
when the curtain rises. The flat on l. c. runs 
diagonally from u c. (o l. 1, wilh only a pro- 
jection al fireplace such as would be mode for 
a chimney. 

At Rise of curtain the stage is empty. 
After a pause Laoha ertters r., passes the 
dresser up c, places -umbrella ai a., end of it 
against waU, crosses r. to back of armchair, 
removes gloves, lays them over back of chair, 
takes off her ooat and hat, hangs hat on end of 
wardrobe, and puts coat inside; notices old 
slipper irt front of dresser and one on the ex- 
treme R., and teith impatience picks Ihem up 
and pvU them in wardrobe drawer. Then 
crosses to dresser, gets needle and thread off 
pincushion artd mends small rip in glove, 
after which she puis gloves in top drawer of 
dresser, crosses toi^to extreme end of dresser, 
and standing facing R. takes handkerchief out 
of box, tafces up bMe containing purple per- 
fume, holds it up so she can see there is only a 
email quantity l^t, sprinkles a drop on hand- 
kerchief carefully, so as not to use too much, 
looks at botde again to see how much is left, 
places it on dresser; goes up-sta{ie side qf bed, 
kmeels on head of bed and looks lovingly al 
photo of John Madison, and finally pulls 
up the mattress and lakes out box of leilers, 
and opens it. She then sits down in Oriental 
fashion, with her feet under her, selects a 
bundle of letters, unties the ribbon, and takes 
out a letter such as has been hereinbefore de- 
scribed, glances it over, puts it down in her 
lap, and again loAies a long look at the picture 
of John Madison. Annie is heard coming 
upstairs. Lauba looks quickly totvards the 
door, puts the letters back in box, and hiir- 
riedly piaces box under mattress and replaces 
pillows. Annie knocks on doar r. Laura 
rises and crosses to door c. 

Laura. Come in. 
IAnnie, q chocolate-colored negress, enters. 
She is sloverdy in appearance, but must 
not in any way denote the "mammy." 
She is tiie type one encounters in cheap 
thealrical lodging-houses. She has a 
tetter in her hand, also a clean iowel 
folded, and approaches Lauba.1 
Laura. Hello, Annie. 



Annie. Heah's yo' mail. Miss Laura. 

Ladii/<. [taking letter]. Thank you! 

[She looks at the address and does 
not open U,] 

Annie, One Uke dat comes evciry mom- 
in', don't it? Used to all be postmarked 
Denver. Must 'a' moved. [Trying to look 
over Laura's shoulder; Laura turns, sees 
her; Annie looks away.] Where is dat place 
called Goldfield, Miss Laura? 

Lauha. In Nevada. 

Annie. In Nevada? 

Laura. Yes, Nevada. 

Annie [drauts her jacket closer around her 
as if chilly]. Must be mighty smaht to 
write yuh every day. De pos'man brii^ 
it 'leven o'clock mos' always, sometimes 
twelve, and again sometimes tehn; but it 
comes every day, don't it? 

Laura. I know. 

Annie [crosses to r. of armchair, brushes 
U off and makes an effort to read leUer, lean- 
ing across chair]. Guess must be from yo' 
husban', ain't it? 

Laura. No, I have n't any. 

Annie [crossing to c. triumphantly]. Dat's 
what Ah tole Mis' Parley when she was 
down talkin' about you dis mornin'. She 
said if he all was yo' husban' he might do 
somethin' to help you out. Ah told her Ah 
did n't think you had any husban'. Den 
she says you ought to have one, you're so 

Laura. Oh, Anaie! 

Annie [sees door up l. c. open, goes and 
bangs it skut]. Der ain't a decent door in 
dis old house. Mis' Farley said yo' might 
have mos' ajiy man you [hangs clean towel 
on washstand] wanted just for de askin', 
but Ah said yuh [takes newspaper and books 
off bed, places them on. table] was too par- 
ticular about the man yo' 'd want. Den she 
did a heap o' talkin'. 
Laura. About what? 

[Places tetter open on table, looks at 
hem of skirl, discovers a rip, 
rises, crosses up to dresser c, gets 
needle, crosses down l. to trunk; 
opens and takes thimble out, 
closes lid of tray, sits on it, and 
sews skirt during scene.] 
Annie [at lied fussing around, folds night- 



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THE EASIEST WAY 



189 



gotim, places it under pillofv]. Well, you 
know, Mia' Farley, she's been havin' so 
much trouble wid her roomers. Yestuhday 
dat young lady on de second flo' front she 
lef. She's goiii' wiv some troupe on the 
road. She owed her room for three weeks 
and jus' had to leave hertrunk. [Crosses &. 
to c, fussing over tabk L.] My I how Mis' 
Parley did scold her. Mis' Farley let on she 
could have paid dat money if she wanted 
to, but somehow Ah guess she could n't — 
[Reads kUeT on UAU.] 

LAVBJi[seeB her, OTigrUy exclaims]. Annie! 

Annie [in confmion, brushing off t<Me] — 
for if she could she would n't have left her 
trunk, would she, Miss Laura? 

[Creases to armckaiT r., flicks up 
kimono off hack.] 

Laura. No, I suppose not. What did 
Mrs. Farley say about me? 

Annie. Oh! nothin' much. 

[Crosses to i- c, stands.] 

Laura. Well, what? 

Annie. She kinder say somethin' 'bout 
yo' bein' three weeks behind in yo' room 
rent, and she said she t' ought it was 'bout 
time yuh handed her somethin', seein' as 
how yuh must o' had some stylisli friends 
when 3Tih come here. 

Laura. Who, for instance? 

Annie. Ah don't know. Mis' Farley said 
some of 'em might slip yo' enough just to 
help yuh out. [Pouse.] Ain't yo' got no- 
body to take care of you at all, Miss Laura? 
[Ha'ngs kimono over hack 0/ arm- 
chair. \ 

Laura. No! No one. 

Annie. Dat's too bad. 

I-AURA. Why? 

Annie [crossing to l. c.]. Mis' Farley 
says yuh would n't have no trouble at all 
gettin' any man to take care of yuh i! yuh 
wanted to. 

Ladha [leitk sorrowful shudder]. Please 
[doors of wardrohe open very sUmily] don't, 

Annie. Dere's a gemman [playing with 
comer of tableclofh] dat calls on one of de 
ladies from the Hippodrome, in de big 
front room downstairs. He's mighty nice, 
and he's been askin' 'bout you. 

Lauba [exas-perated]. Oh, shut up ! 



Annie [sees doors of wardrobe l. hw/e 
*iii«)i9 open; she crosses, slams them skui, 
(wrjis/o Laura]. Mis' Farley says ^ [Diwrs 
hone swung open again, hit her in the hack. 
She turns and hangs them to with all her 
strength.] Damn dat doori [Crosses l. to 
washstand, up l., grabs basin which is half 
full of water, empties same into waste-jar, 
puts basin on washsUtrtd, and wipes out with 
soiled towel.\ Mis' Farley says if she don't 
get someone in the house dat has reg'lar 
money soon, she'll have to shut up and go 
to the po'house. 

Laura. rmsorry;I'li try again to-day. 
[flises, crosses up to mantel, gets 
desk-pad, etc., crosses to n. of 
table, sits.] 



all? 

Laura. No. 

Annie. When yuh come here yuh had 
lots of money and yo' was mighty good to 
me. You know Mr. Weston? 

Laura. Jim Weston? 

Annie. Yassum, Mr. Weston what goes 
ahead o' shows and lives on the top floor 
back; he says nobody 's got jobs now. 
Dey're so many actors and actresses out o' 
work. Mis' Farley says she don't know 
how she's goin' to live. She said you 'd been 
mighty nice up until three weeks ago, but 
yuh ain't got much left, have you. Miss 
Laura? 

Laura [rising and going to the bureau]. 
Is'o. It's all gone. 

Annie. MahsakesI All dem rings and 
things? You ain't done sold 'em? 

[Sinks on bed.] 

Lauka. They're pawned. What did 
Mrs. Farley say she was going to do? 

Annie. Guess maybe Ah'd better not 
tell. 

[Crosses b. to door hurriedly, carry- 
ing soiled towel,] 

Laura. Please do. 

[Crosses (o chair, r., left side.] 

Annie. Yuh been so good to me, Miss 
I^ura. Never was nobody in dis house 
what give me so much, and Ah ain't been 
gettin' much lately. And when Mis' Farley 
said yuh must either pay yo' rent or she 



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190 



CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



would ask yuh for your room, Ah just set 
right down on de back kitchen stairs and 
cried. Besides, Mis' Farley don't like me 
very well since you've ben havin' yo' 
breakfasts and dinners brought up here. 

Laura, Why not? 

[Takes kimono off ehair-ba^k, 
crosses up to dresser, puis kimono 
in drawer, takes out purse.\ 

Annie. She has a rule in dis house dat 
nobody can use huh chiny or fo'ka or 
spoons who ain't boa'din' heab, and de 
odder day when yuh asked me to bring up 
a knife and fo'k she ketched me comin' 
upstairs, and she says, "Where yuh goin' 
wid all dose things, Annie?" Ah said, 
"Ah'm just goin' up to Miae Laura's room 
with dat knife and fo'k." Ah said, "Ah'm 
goin' up for nothin' at all, Mis' Farley, she 
jest wants to look at 'em. Ah guess." She 
said, "She wants to eat huh dinner wid 'em. 
Ah guess." Ah got real mad, and Ah told 
her it she'd give me mah pay Ah'd brush 
rightouto'here;dat's what Ah'ddo, Ah'd 
brush right out o' here. 

[Violently shaking out towel.] 

Laura, I'm sorry, Annie, if I've caused 
you any trouble. Never mind, I'll be able 
to pay the rent to-morrow or next day 
anyway. [She fumbles in purse, lakes out a 
quarter, and turns to Annie.] Here! 

Annie, No, ma'am, Ah don' want dat. 
[Making a show of reluetance.] 

IiAURA. Please take it. 

Annie. No, ma'am. Ah don' want it. 
You need dat. Dat's breakfast money for 
yuh. Miss Laura. 

Laitra. Please take it, Annie, I might 
just as well get rid oE this as anything else. 

Annie [lakes U rather reluctantly]. Yuh 
always was so good. Miss Laura. Sho' yuh 
don' want dis? 

Laura. Sure. 

Annie. Sho' yo' goin' to get plenty mo'? 

LitiRA. Sure. 

Mrs. Farley's Voice [downstairs]. An- 
nie I Annie I 

Annie [goiTig to door, opens it]. Dat's 
Mis' Farley. [To Mrs. Farley.] Yassum, 
Mis' Farley. 

Same Voice. Is Miss Murdock up there? 

Annie. Yassum, Mia' Farley, yassum ! 



Mrs. Farley. Anything doin'? 
Annie. Huh? 

Mrs. Fari^by. Anything doin'? 
Annie [at door]. Ah — Ah — hain't 
asked. Missy Farley. 

Mrs. Farley. Then do it. 
Laura [coming (o the rescue at the door. 
To Annie]. I'll answer her. [Out 0/ door to 
Mrs. Farley.] What is it, Mrs. Farley? 

Mrs. Farley [her voice softened]. Did ye 
have any luck this morning, dearie? 

Ladra. No; but 1 promise you faithfully 

to help you out this afternoon or to-morrow. 

Mrs. Fable Y. Sure? Are you certain? 

Laura. Absolutely. 

Mrs. Farley. Well, I must say these 

people expect me to keep — [Door dosed.] 

[Laura quietly closes the door, and 

Mrs. Farley's rather strident 

voice is heard indistinctly. 

Laura sighs and waUcs toward 

fobje L., sits. Annie looks after 

her, and then slowly opens the 

Annie, Yo' sho' dere ain't nothin' I can 
do fo' yuh, Miss Laura? 

Latfra. Nothing. 

[Annie exit. Laura sits down and 
looks at letter, opening il. It con- 
sists of several pages closely u^rit- 
ten. She reads some of them hur- 
riedly, skims through the rest, 
and then turns to the last page, 
■wOhout reading, glances at U; 
lays on table, rises.] 

Laura. Hope, just nothing but hope. 

[She crosses to bed, faJUs face down 
upon it, burying her face in her 
hands. Her desponderKy is pal' 
pahle. As she lies there a hurdy- 
gurdy m the street starts to play 
a popular air. This arouses her 
and she rises, crosses to wardrobe, 
lakes out box of crackers, opens 
urindow, gets bollie of milk off siU 
outside, places them on table, gets 
glass off Tcashstand, at the same 
time humm,ing the tune of the 
hurdy-gurdy when knock comes; 
she crosses quickly to dresser, 
powders nose. The knock is itwn 
idly repeated.] 



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THE EASIEST WAY 



19 r 



[Jim Weston, a rather shabby theatrical ad- 
vance agent of the old school, enters tim- 
idly, halting at the door and holding the 
knob in his hand. He is a man of about 
forty years old, dressed in an ordinary 
manner, of vtedium height, and in fact 
has the appearance of a once prosperous 
clerk who hoi been in hard luck. His 
relations with Laura are those of pure 
friendskip. They both lUm in the same 
lodging-place, and both having been out 
of employment, they have naturally be- 
eoime aapMiinled^ 

Jim, Can I come in? 

Laura \m&uyat titming\ Hello, Jim Wes- 
ton. \He closes door and enters, down R.] 
Any luclc? 

Jim. Lota of it. 

Laura. That's good. Tell me, 

Jim. It's bad luck. Gucsa you don't 

Laura. I'msorry. Where have you been? 

Jim. 1 kind o' felt around up at Burgess's 
office. I thought I might get a job there, 
but he put me off until to-morrow. Some- 
how those fellows always do business to- 
morrow. [Hurdy-gurdy dies out.] 

Laura. Yea, and there's ^ways to-day 
to look after. 

Jim. I'm ready to give up. I've tramped 
Broadway for nine weeks until every piece 
of flagstone gives me the laugh when it sees 
my feet coming. Got a letter from the 
missis this morning. The kids got to have 
some clothes, there's measles in the town, 
and mumps in the next village. I've just 
got to raise some money or get some work, 
or the first thing you'll know I'll be hang- 
ing around Central Park on a dark night 
with a club. 

Laura. I know just how you feel. Sit 
down, Jim. [JiM crosses and sits in chair r. 
of table.] It's pretty tough for me [offers 
Jim glois of milk; ft« refuses; takes cracker], 
but it must be a whole lot worse for you 
with a wife and kids. 

Jim. Oh, if a man's alone he can gener- 
ally get along — turn his hand to anything; 
but a womao — 



Laura. Worse, you think? 

Jim. I was just thinking about you and 
what Bui^ess said? 

LAirBA. What was that? 

[Crosses to bed; sits on up-stage side, 
sipping mUk,] ^ 

Jim. You know Burgess and I used to be 
in the circus business together. He took 
care of the grafters when I was boss canvas 
man. I never could see any good in shaking 
down the rubes for all the money they had 
and then taking part of it. He used to run 
the privilege car, you know. 

Laura. Privilege car? 

Jim. Had charge of all the pickpockets, 
— dips we called 'em — sure-thing gam- 
blers, and the Uke. Made him rich, I kept 
sort o' on the level and I'm broke. Guess 
it don't pay to be honest — 

Laura [turns to him and in a significant 
voice:] You don't really think that? 

Jim. No, maybe not. Ever since I mar- 
ried the missis and the first kid come we 
figured the only good money was the kind 
folks worked for and earned; but when you 
can't get hold of that, it's tough. 

Laura. I know. 

Jim. Burgess don't seem to be losing 
sleep over the tricks he's turned. He's 
Jiappy and prosperous, but I guess he ain't 
any better now then he was then. 

Laura. Maybe not. I'vebeec trying to 
get an engagement from him. There are 
half a dozen parts in his new attractions 
that I could do, but he has never absolutely 
said "no," but yet somehow he's never said 

Jim. He spoke about you. 
Laura. In what way? 

[Rising, stands behind Jim's chair.] 

Jim. I gave him my address and he seen 

it was yours, too. Asked if I lived in the 

Laura. Was that all? 

Jim. Wanted to know how you was get- 
ting on. I let him know you needed work, 
but I did n't tip my hand you was flat 
broke. He said something about you being 
a damned fool, 

Laura [suddenly and interested]. How? 



[Laoi 



c] 



Jim. Well, Johnny Ensworth — you 



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192 



CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



know he used to do the fights on 
Evening Journal; now he's press agent 
for Burgess; nice fellow and way on the 
inside— he told me where you were in 
wrong. 

Laura. What have I done? 

[Sits m aTjnckinr.] 

Jim. Burgess don't put up the money 
for any of them musical comedies — he 
just trails. Of course he 's got a lot of influ- 
ence, and he's always Johnny-on-the-8pot 
to turn any dirty trick that they want. 
There are four or five rich men in town who 
are there with the bank-roll, providing he 
engages women who ain't so very particu- 
\bx about the location of their residence, 
and who don't hear a curfew ring at 11.30 
every night. 

Ladra, And he thinks I am too particu- 
lar? 

Jim, That's what was slipped me. Seems 
that one of the richest men that is in on 
Mr. Burgess's address book is a fellow 
named Brockton from downtown some 
place. He 's got more money than the Shoe 
and Xieather National Bank. He iikes to 
play show business. 

Laura [rises quickly]. Oh ! 

[CrosseM to wardrtAe, gets hat, 

wiih inl^ntionof curling feathers.] 
Jim. I thought you knew him. I thought 
it was just a& well to tell you where he and 
Burgess stand. They're pals. 

Lactka [coming over lo Jim and with em- 
phasis crosses l. to doivri-atage side of bed, 
puts hat and scissors on bed]. I don't want 
you to talk about him or any of them. I 
just want you to know that I'm trying to 
do everything in my power to go through 
this season without any more trouble. I've 
pawned everything I 've got ; I 've cut every 
friend I knew. But where am I going to 
end? That's what I want to know — 
where am I going to end? [To bed and sits.] 
Every place I look for a position something 
interferes. It's almost as if I were black- 
listed. I know I could get jobs all right if I 
wanted to pay the price, but I won't. I just 
want to tell you, I won't. No! 

[Rises, crosses to mantel, rests 



Jim. That's tlie way to talk, [iiises.j I 
don't know you very well, but I've watched 
you close. I'm just a common ordinary 
showman who never had much money, and 
I'm going out o' date. I've spent most of 
my time with nigger minstrel shows and 
circuses, but I've been on the square. 
That's why I'm broke. [Rather sadly.] 
Once I thought the missis would have to go 
back and do her acrobatic act, but she 
could n't do that, she'd grown so damn fat. 
[Crosses l. to Latjba.) Just you don't mind. 
It'll all come out right. 

Laura. It's an awful tough game, isn't 



it? 



[Cr^ 



Jim [during this speecft Laura gets cup, 
pours milk back into boMie, closes biscuUrbox, 
puts milk on shed outside, and biscuits into 
wardrobe, cup in aicone h.]. It's hell forty 
ways from the Jack. It's tough for me, but 
for a pretty woman with a lot o' rich fools 
jumping onto' their automobiles and hang- 
ing around stage doors, it must be some- 
thing awful. I ain't blaming the women. 
They say "self-preservation is the first law 
of nature," and I guess that's right; but 
sometimes when the show ia over and I see 
them fellows with their hair plastered back, 
smoking cigarettes in a [Laura crosses to 
chair a. of table and leans over back] holder 
long enough to reach from here to Harlem, 
and a bank-roll that would bust my pocket 
and turn my head, I fee! as if I'd like t« 
go a-shooting around this 



old town. 
Laura. Jim! 






i, I do- 






bet. 



Laura. That would n't pay, would it? 

Jim. No, they're not worth the job of 
sitting on that throne in Sing Sing, and 
I 'm too poor to go to Mattcawan, But all 
them fellows under nineteen and over fifty- 
nine ain't much use to themselves or any- 

Laura [rather meditatively]. Perhaps all 
of them are not so bad. 

Jim [sits on bed]. Yes, they are — angels 
and all. Last season I had one of them 
shows where a rich fellow backed it on 
account of a girl. We lost money and he 
lost his girl; then we got stuck in Texas. 
1 telegraphed: "Must have a thousand, or 



ioogle 



THE EASIEST WAV 



193 



can't move," He just answered: "Don't 
move." We did n't. 

LiAUBA. But that was business. 

Jim. Bad business. It took a year for 
some of thein folks to get back to Broad- 
way. Some of the girk never did, and I 
guess never will. 

Lauka. Maybe they're better off, Jim, 
{Sits H. of table.] 

Jim. Could n't be worse. They're still 
in Texas. [To himself.] Wish 1 knew how to 
do something else, beii^ a plumber or a 
walking delegate; they alwa3^ have jobs 

Laura. Well, I wish I could do some 
thing else too, but I can't, and we ve got 
to make the best of it. 

Jim. I guess so. [Crosses to r c ] 1 11 ste 
you this evening. I hope you'll have good 
news by that time. [Bus. Starts to extt sfurt? 
to open door; then retreats a step nth ha d 
on door-knob, crosses l. to c, Ir a voice 
meartl to be kindly.] If you'd 1 ke to go to 
the theatre to-night and take some other 
woman in the house, maybe I can get a 
couple of tickets for some of the "^l ows I 
know a lot of fellows who are work ng 

Laura. No, thanks. I have n t anyth ng 
to wear to the theatre, and I don t — 

Jim [with a smile crosses to Laura puis 
arm wound her]. Now you just cheer up 
Something 'a sure to turn up. It alwa^ s has 
for me, and I'm a lot older tha y u, both 
in years and in this business. There's al- 
ways a break in hard luck sometime — 

Laura [smiling through her tears]. I hope 
so. But things are looking pretty hopeless 
now, are n't they? 

Jim. I'll go down and give Mrs. F. a line 
o' talk and try [crossing to b. c] to square 
you for a couple of days more anyway 
But I guess she's laying pretty close to t! e 
cushion herself, poor woman. 

Lauha. Annie says a lot of people owe 

Jim. Well, you can't pay what you 
have n't got. And even if money was grow 
ing on trees, it's winter now. [Jim goes 
towards door.] I'm off. Maybe to-day is 
lucky day. So long ! 
"Laura, Good-bye. 

Jim. Keep your nerve. [Exit.] 



Latiba. I will. [She site for a moment in 
deep thought, picks up the tetter received as if 
to read it, and then Uirows il down in anger. 
She buries her head in hands.] I can't stand 
it — 1 just simply can't stand it. 

Mrs. Farley's Voice {off stage]. Miss 
Murdock — Miss Murdock. 

Lauha [brushing auiay tews, rises, goes to 
door R., and opens it]. What is it? 

Same Voice. There's a lady down here 

Eliie's Voice [of itage] Hello deane 
can I come up? 
Latra IsUat ou Elfie' 
Elfb les shallleomeup? 
Lai ra. U h\ certainly 

[She I aits at the door for a moment and 
Elfie St Cla b appears She isgor- 
g o sly govmed in the rather extreme 
sli/le affected by the uauai Aeu iork 
v.ona ho IS cwed for hy a genUeman 
tcecUth and who has not gone through 
tie fontality of matnmomtd alkance 
H r eond let s always exaqgeroied and 
hir altitude igorous Her gown is of 
tite hUest design and in every detod of 
d ess she shows e tdence of most extrav 
aqa t expend ture. She carries a hand- 
bag of gold upmt which are attached such 
tnfUa as a gold cigarette-case, a gold 
powder box pencils, and the like. Eltib 
tliraws her arms around Lauba, and 
both exchange kisses.] 
Elpib. Laura, you old dear [crossing l. 
to table], I've just found out where you've 
been hiding, and came around to see you, 
Laura [who is much brightened by Elfie's 
appearance]. Elfie, you're lookii^ bully. 
How are you, dear? 
Eli IE J me. 

Lu B* Comeinandsitdown. Ihaven't 
much to offer, but — 

EnriB Oh, never mind. It's such a 
grand daj outside, ajid I've come around 
m mj cir to take you out [sits n. ^ table]. 
You know I've got a new one, and it can 
go some. 

Lav^\ [sits on arm of chnir^.]. I'msoiry 
but I can't go out this afternoon, Elfie. 
Eli'ib. What's the matter? 
Lauba, You see I'm staying home a 



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good deal nowadays. I have n't been feel- 
ing very well and I don't go out much. 

Elfie. 1 should think not. I have n't 
seen you in Rector's or Martin's since you 
came back from Denver. Got a glimpse 
of you one day traihng up Broadway, but 
could n't get to you — you dived into st 
office or other. [For the first lime she surveys 
the room, rises, looka oround criHaUly, cross- 
ing i,. to mantel.] Gee ! Whatever made you 
come into a dump like this? It's the limit. 

JjATJRA [crossing l. and standing back of the 
iotlel. Oh.Iknowitisn't pleasant,butit'B 
my home, and after all — a home's a home, 

Elfie, Looks more Uke a prison. [Takes 
candy from jnoretei, spils it out on fioor.] 
Makes me think of the old days of Child's 
sinkers and a hall bedroom. 

Laura. It's comfortable. 

[Leaning hands on table.] 

Elpib. Not! [Sitsonbed,tn}ingbedmih 
comedy effect.] Say, ia this liere for an effect, 
or do you sleep on it? 

Laura. 1 sleep on it. 

Elfie. No wonder you look tired. Say, 
listen, dearie. What else is the matter with 
you anyway? 

Lauka. Nothing. 

Eltie. Yes, there is. What happened 
between you and Brockton? [Notices faded 
fiowers in vase on table, takes them out, losses 
them into fireplace, replaces them with gar- 
denias which she wears.] He's not broke, 
because I saw him tJie other day. 

Laura. Where? 

Elfie. In the park. Asked me out to 
luncheon, but I could n't go. You know, 
dearie, I've got to be so careful. Jerry's so 
awful jealous ^ the old fool. 

Lauka. Do you see much of Jerry nowa- 
days, Elfic? 

Elfie. Not any more than I can help and 
be nice. He gets on my nerves. Of course, 
1 've heard about your quitting Brockton. 

Lauha. Then why do you ask? 

[Crosses around chair a. of table, 
stands.] 

Elfib. Just wanted to hear from your 
own dear lips what the trouble was. Now 
tell me all about it. Can I smoke here? 

[Takes cigarette case up, opens it, 
selecting cigaretle.] 



Laura. Surely. 

[Gels mjjlches off bureau, puts them 
on table.] 
Elfee. Have one? JOfferscase.] 

Lauha. No, thank you. 

[Sits in chair r. of table, facing 
Elfib.] 
Elfie. H'm-m, h'm-m, hah! [Lights 
dgaretle.] Now go ahead. Tell mc all the 
scandal. I'm just eraay to know. 

Laura. There's nothing to tell. I have 
n't been able to find work, that is all, and 
I'm short of money. You can't live in ho- 
tels, you know, with cabs and all that 
sort of thing, when you're not working. 
Elfie. Yes, you can. I have n't worked 

Laura. But you don't understand, dear. 
I — I — Well, you know I — well, you 
know — I can't say what I want. 

Elfib. Oh, yes, you can. You can say 
anything to me — everybody else does. 
We've been pals. I know you got along 
a little faster in the business than I did. 
The chorus was my limit, and you went 
into the legitimate thing. But we got our 
living just the same way. I did n't suppose 
there was any secret between you and me 
about that. 

Lauba. I know there was n't then, Elfie, 
but I tell you I'm different now. I don't 
want to dothat sort of thing, and I've been 
very unlucky. This has been a terribly hard 
season for me. I simply have n't been able' 
to get an engagement. 

Elfie. Well, you can't get on this way. 
Won't [pauses, knocking ashes off cigarette 
to crnier fmsitalion] Brockton help you out? 

Lauba. What's the use of talking to 
you [rises and crosses to fireplace], Elfie; 
you don't understand. 

Elfie {pu^ng deliberately on cigarette and 
crossing her legs in almost a masculine atti- 
tude]. No? Why don't I understand? 

Lauba. Because you can't; you've 
never felt as I have. 

Elfie. How do you know? 

Laura [turning impatiently]. Oh, what's 
the use of explaining? 

Elfie. You know, Laura, I'm not much 
on giving advice, but you make me sick. 
I thought you'd grown wise. A young girl 



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just butting into this business might pos- 
sibly make a fool of herself, but you ought 
tobeontotliegameandmakethebest of it. 

Laura [going over to her angrily]. If you 
come up here, Elfle, to talk that sort of 
stuff to me, please don't. I was West this 
summer. I met someone, a real man, who 
did me a whole lot of good - — a man. who 
opened my eyes to a different way of going 
along — a man who — Oh, well, what's 
the use? You don't know — you don't 
know. [Sils L. on bed.] 

Elpie [throws cijnireHe into fire^ace]. I 
don't know, don't I? I don't know, I sup- 
pose, that when I came to this town from 
up state — a little burg named Oswego — 
and joined a chorus, that I did n't fall in 
love with just such a man. I suppose I 
don't know that then I was the best- 
looking girl in New York, and everybody 
talked about me? I suppose 1 don't know 
that there were men, ail ages and with all 
kinds of money, ready to give me anything 
for the mere privilege of taking me out to 
supper? And 1 did n't do it, did I? For 
three years I stuck by this good man who 
was to lead me in a good way toward a 
good life. And all the time I was getting 
older, never quite so pretty one day as I 
had been the day before. I never knew 
then what it was to be tinkered with by 
hairdressers and manicures or a hundred 
and one of those other people who make 
you look good. I did n't have to have them 
then. [Rises, crosses to B. of table facing 
Laura.] Well, you know, Laura, what 
happened. 

Laura. Was n't it partly your fault, 
Elfie? 

Elfie [speaking across table angrUy], Was 
it my fault that time made me older and 1 
took on a lot of flesh ? Was it my fault that 
the work and the life took out the color, 
and left the make-up? Was it my fault that 
other pretty young girls came along, just 
as I'd come, and were chased aft«r, just as 
I was ? Was it my fault the cabs were n't 
waiting any more and people did n't talk 
about how pretty I was? And was it my 
fault when he finally had me alone, and 
just because no one else wanted me, he got 
tired and threw me fiat — cold flat [brings 



hand down on table] — and I 'd been on the 
dead le^el with him [With almost a sob 
CTOB^LS up to bureau powdera nose comes 
dou n baek of labk ] It almost broke my 
heart Then I made up mj mind to get 
even and get ill I could out of the game 
Jerrj came along He was a has been and 
I was on the rOad to be He wanted to be 
good to me, and I let him. That's all. 

Lauka. Still, I don't see how you can 
live that way. [Lies on bed.] 

Elfie. Well, you did, and you did n't 

Laura. Yes, but things are different 
with me now. You'd be the same way if 
you were in my place. 

Elpie. No, I've had all the romance I 
want, and I '11 stake you to all your love 
affairs. [Crosses back of bed, touches picture 
over bed.] I am out to gather in as much 
coin as I can in my own way, so when the 
old rainy day comes along I '11 have a little 
change to buy myself an umbrella. 

LAirRA [rising and angry crosses r. (o 
armchair]. What did you come here for? 
Why can't you leave me alone when I'm 
trying to get along? 

Elfie. Because I want to help you. 

Lai'ra [dTir&ig speech crosses l. to -up- 
stage side of bed, angrily losses guilt to floor 
and sits on bed facing k. in tears]. You can't 
help me. I'm all right — I tell you I am. 
What do you care anyway? 

Elfie [sits on bed, crosses down stage to 
lower L. side of bed, sits facing Lauha]. But 
1 do care. I know how you feel with an old 
cat for a landlady and living up here on a 
side street with a lot of cheap burlesque 
people. Why the room's cold [Laura rises, 
crosses R. to wijidow], and there's no hot 
wat«r, and you 're beginning to look shabby. 
You have n't got a job — chances are you 
won't have one. What does [indicating a 
picture on bed vdth thumb] this fellow out 
there do for you? Send you long letters of 
condohinces? That's what I used to get. 
When I wanted to buy a new pair of shoes 
or a silk petticoat, he told me how much he 
loved me; so I had the other ones resoled 
and turned the old petticoat. And look at 
you, you're beginning to show it. [She sur- 
veys her carefully.] I do believe there are 



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lines coming in your face [Laura crosses to 
dresser quickly, picks up hand mirror, looke 
at herself], and you hide in the house be- 
cause you've nothing new to wear, 

Lacka [puts down mirror, crossing down 
to back of bed]. But I've got what you 
have n't got. I may have to hide my 
clothes, but I don't have to hide my face. 
And you with that man — he's old enough 
to be your father — a toddling dote hang- 
ing on your apron-strings, I don't see 
how you dare show your face to a decent 

Elfib [rises]. You don't! — but you did 
once and I never caught you hanging your 
head. You Bay he's old. I know he's old, 
but he's good to me. He's making what's 
left of my lite pleasant. You think I like 
him. I don't, — sometimes I hate him, — 
but he understands; and you can bet your 
life his check b in ray mail every Saturday 
night or there's a new look on the door 
Sunday morning. (Crossing l. to fireplace.] 

Laura. How can you say such things to 



Elfib [crosses to l. erid of table]. 
I want you to be square with yourself. 
You've lost all that precious virtue women 
gab about. When you've got the name, 
I say get the game. 

Laura. You can go now, Elfie, and don't 

Elfib [gcUhcring up muff, etc.]. All right, 
if that's the way you want it to be, I'm 
sorry. [-4 knock on the door.] 

Laura {controlling herself after a mo- 
ments hedlation]. Come in. 



[A». 



E enters with a 



Lauha.I 



d hands 



Annie. Mis' Farley sent dis. Miss Laura. 
[Lauba takes the note and reods it. 
Sfte is palpably annoyed.] 

Laura. There's no answer. 

Annib. She toi' me not to leave until Ah 
got an auswah. 

Laura. You must ask her to wait. 

Annie. She wants an answah. 

Laura. Tell her I'll be right down — 
that it will be all right. 

Annie, But, Miss Laura, she tol' me to 
get an answah. {EMt reluctarUly.] 



Laura [half to herself and half to Elpie|. 

She's taking advantage oE your being here. 

[Standing r. near door.] 

Elfie. How? 

Laura. She wants money — three 
weeks' room-rent. I presume she thought 
you 'd give it to me. 

Elfie. Huh! [Moses to h.] 

La«ha [crossing l. to table]. Elfie, I've 

Elfie. Well? 

Laura. Could — could you lend me 
thirty-five dollars until I get to work? 

Elfie. Me? 

Laura. Yes. 

Elpib. Lend 3/om thirty-five dollars? 

Laura. Yea; you've got plenty of 
money to spare. 

Elfie. Well, you certainly have got a 

Laura. You might give it to me. I 
have n't a dollar in the world, and you 
pretend to be such a friend to me! 

Elfib [turning and angrily speaking 
across UAle]. So that's the kind of woman 
you are, di? A moment ago you were 
going to kick me out of the place because 
I was n't decent enough to associate with 
you. You know how I live. You know 
how 1 get my money — the same way you 
got most of youra. And now that you've 
got this spasm of goodness I'm not fit to 
be in your room; but you'll take my money 
to pay your debts. You'll let me go out 
and do this sort of thing for your benefit, 
while you try to play the grand lady. I've 
got your number now, I/aura. Where in hell 
is your virtue anyway? You can go to the 
devil rich, poor, or any other way. I'm off ! 
[Elpib rushes toward door; for a 
moment Laura stands speech- 
less, then bursts into hysterics.] 
Laura. Elfie! Elfie! Don't go now! 
Don't leave me now! [Elpie hesitates with 
handondaor-knnb.] I can't stand it. I can't 
be alone. Don't go, please; don't go. 

[Laura fails into Elfib's arms, 
sobbing. In a moment Elpib's 
whole demeanor changes and she 
Tnells into the tenderest womanly 
sympathy, trying her best to ex- 
press heredS in her crude may.] 



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197 



Eltie. There, old girl, don't crj', don't 
cry. You just sit down here and let me put 
my arms around you. [Elfie leads Ladra 
over L. to armchair, places muff, etc., in 
chair, and sils Lauba down in chair. Elfib 
sits on R. arm of chair with her left arm be- 
hind Laura; h-ugs Lattka to her. Laura in 
tears and sobbing during scene.] I'm awful 
sorry — on the levei, I am. I should n't 
have said it. I know that. But I've got 
feelings too, even if folks don't give me 
credit for it. 

Laura. I know, Elfie, I 've gone through 
about all I can stand. 

Elpie. Well, I should say you have - 
and more than I would. Anyway a good 
cry never hurts any woman. I have one 
myself, sometimes — under cover. 

Laura [more seriously, recovering herself]. 
Perhaps what you said was true. 

Elpie. We won't talk about it. 

[Wiping Laura's eyes and kisses 
her.] 

Ia.URA [mlh persistence]. But perhaps it 
was true, and, EHfie — 

Elfie. Yes. 

Laura. I think I've stood this just as 
long as I caji. Every day is a livii^ hor- 

Elfie [looking around room]. It's the 

Lausa. I've got to have money to pay 
the rent. I've pawned everything I have, 
except the clothes on ray back. 

Elfie. I'll give you all the money you 
need, dearie. Great Heavens, don't worrv 
about that. Don't you care if I got ore 
and — and lost my head. 

Laura, No; I can't let you do that 
[Rises; crosses l. to labU.] Yoi may 1 ave 
been mad, — awfully mad, — but what 
you said was the truth. 1 can t tike yo r 
money. [Sits r of table 1 

Elfie. Oh, forget that. 

Lauba. Maybe — maybe if he knew all 
about it — the suffering — he would n't 
blame me, 

Elfie, Who — the good man who 
wanted to lead you to the good life without 
even a bread-baaket for sn advance agent? 
Buhl 



Laura, Still he does n't know how dea- 
peratj?ly poor I am. 

Eli'ie. He knows you're out of work, 
don't he? 

Lauba [turning to Elfie]. Not exactly. 
I've let him tliink that I'm getting along 
all right. 

Eli'ie. Then you're a chump. Has n't 
he sent you anything? 

Laura. He has n't anything to send. 

Elfie. Well, what does he think you 
're going to live on? — asphalt croquettes 
with conversation sauce? 

Laura. I don't know — I don't know. 
[Sobbing.] 

Elfie [crosses to Lauba, puts arms 
around her). Don't be foolish, dearie. You 
know there is somebody waiting for you — 
somebody who'll be good to you and get 
you out of this mess. 

Ladba, You mean WiU Brockton? 

[Looking up.] 

Elfie. Yes. 

Laura. Do you know where he is? 

Elfie. Yes. 

Lauha. Well? 

Elfie. You won't get sore again if I tell 
you, will you? 

Lauba. No -— why? [ffises.] 

Elfie. He's downstairs — waiting in 
the car. I promised to tell him what you 



Laji 



, Then it waa all planned, and - 



Elfie. Now, dearie, 1 knew you were 
up against it, and I wanted to bring you 
t vo together. He's got half of the Burgess 
shows, and if you'll only see him every- 
th ng will be fixed. 

Laura. When does he want to see me? 

Elfie. Now. 

Lauba. Here? 

Elfie. Yes. Shall I tell him to come up? 

Laura [after a long pause, crossing 
around to bed, down-stage »ide\. Yes, 

Elfie [suddenly bearmes ommoted]. Now 
you're a sensible dear. I'll bet he's half 
frozen down there, [Goes io door.] I'll send 
him up. Look at you, Laura, you're a 
sight. [Crosses L. to Laura, takes her by r. 
hand, leads her up to washstand, takes towel 
and teipes Laura's eyes.] It'll nerer do to 



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have him see you looking lilie this; o< 
over here and let me fix your eyes. Now, 
Laura, I want you to promise me you wi 
do any more crying. [Leads Ladha i 
to dresser, lakes powder-puff and powders 
Laura's /ace.] Come over here and let 
powder your nose. Nowwhen he comei 
you tell him he has got to blow us all off to 
a dinner to-night at Martin's, seven-thirty. 
Let me look at you. Now you're all right. 
[A^ter daubing Lavha's face viitk rouge paw, 
Elpib takes Laura's /ace in. her hands and 
kisses her.] Make it strong now, seven- 
thirty, don't forget, I'll be there. [Crosses 
B. to armchair, gathers up muff, etc.] So 
long. [Exit R.] 

[After Elfie's exit Laura crosses 
sluwly B. [o vmrdrohe, pulls off 
picture of John, rrosses l. to 
dresser, lakes picture of John 
from there, carries both pictures 
over to bed, kneels on bed, pulls 
down picture at head of bed, 
places all three pictures under 
piUow. Will is heard coming 
upstairs, and knocks.] 
Laura. Come in. 

[Will enters. His dress is thai of a man of 
business, the time being about February. 
He is iceW groomed and brings with him 
the impression of easy luxury.] 
Will [as he enters]. Hello, Laura. 

[There is an obvious embarrass- 
ment on the pari of ear^k of them. 
She rises, goes to him and ex- 
tends her hand.] 
Lauea, I'm — I'm glad to see you, Wm. 
Will. Thank you. 
Laura. Won't you sit down? 
Will [regaining his ease of manrter]. 
Thank you again. 

[Puts hat and cane h. o( end of 
■wardrobe; removes overcoat and 
places on back of armchair; sits 
in armchair.] 
Laura [sits b. of table]. It's rather cold 
out, is o't it? 
Will. Just a bit sharp. 
Ladra. You came with Elfie in the car? 
Will. She picked me up at Martin's; 
we lunched there. 



Lauka. By appointment? 

Will. I'd asked her. 

Lauba. Well? 

Will. Well, Laura. 

Lauba. She told you? 

Will. Not a great deal. What do you 
want to tell me? 

Lauha [very simply, and avoiding fiis 
glance]. Will, I'm ready to come back. 

Will [tmlh an effort concealing his sense 
of triumph and satisfaction. Rises, crosses to 
Lauba], I'm mighty glad of that, Laura. 
I've missed you like the very devil. 

Laura. Do we — do we have to talk it 
over much? 

[Crosses to L. of table in front of 
bed.] 

Will. Not at all unless you want to, 1 
understand — in tact, I always have. 

Laura [uiearUy]. Yes, I guess you always 
did, I did n't, 

[Crosses R, and sits F, of table.] 

Will, It will be just the same as it was 
before, you know. 

Laura. Yes. 

Will. I did n't think it was possible for 
me to miss anyone the way I have you. 
I've been lonely. 

Laura. That 's nice in you to say that. 

Will. You'll have to move out of here 
right away. [Crossing up h. to back of table 
surveying room.] This place is enough to 
give one the colly-wabbles. If you'll be 
ready to-morrow I'll send my man over to 
help you take eare of the luggage. 

Lauba. To-morrow will he all right, 
thank you. 

WiLi/. And you'll need some money in 
the meantime, I '11 leave this here. 

[ffe takes a roll of biUs and places 
it on the bureau.] 

Laura. You seem to have come pre- 
pared. Did Bfie and you plan this ail out? 

Will. Not planned — just hoped. I 
think you'd better go to some nice hotel 
now. Later we can arrange. 

[Sits on up-siage side of bed.] 

Laura. WiU, we'll always be frank. I 
said I was ready to go. It's up to you — 
when and where. 

Will. The hotel schema is th? best, but, 



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Laura. Yes? 

WiLi- You're quite sure this is in earn- 
est. You don't want to change? You've 
time enough now. 

Laura. I've quite made up my mind. 
It's final. 

Will. If you want to work, Burgess has 
a nice part for you. I'll telephone and 
arrange if you say so, 

Laura. Thanks. Say I 'U see him in the 
morning. 

Will, And, Laura, you know when we 
were in Denver, and — 

Laura [rises hurriedly, crosses r]. Please, 
please, don't speak of it. 

Will, I'm sorry, but I've got to. I told 
[rises, crosses to l. c.) Madison [Laura turns 
her head] — pardon me, but I must do this 
— tiiat it this time ever came I'd have you 
write him the truth. Before we go any 
further 1 'd like you to do that now. 

Laura. Saygood-bye? [Turns to Will.] 

Will. Just that, 

Laura. I would n't know how to begin. 
It will hurt him awfully deeply. 

Will. It'll be worse if you don't. He'll 
like you for teUing him. It would be hon- 
est, and that is what he expects. 

Laura. Must I — ■ now? 

Will. I think you should. 

Laura [goes to table and sits doum]. How 
shall I begin, Will? 

Will [standing back of tabk]. You mean 
you don't know what to say? 

Laura. Yes. 

Will. Then I '11 dictate. 

Laura. I'll do just as you say. You're 
e to tell 

t the way you want to. 
m going to be pretty 
run I think that is best, 



Will. Address . 

[She comedies.] V 

brutal. In the long 

don't you? 
Laura. It 's up 
Will. Ready? 
Laura. Begin, 
Will [dictating], 

be expressed 






All I have to say can 
word, 'good-bye.' I 
snail not tell you where I've gone, but re- 
mind you of what Brockton told you tie 
last time he saw you. He is here now 
[pause] dictating this letter. What I am 
doing is voluntary — my own suggestion. 



1 Don't grieve. Be happy ajid successful. I 
do not love you." — 

[She puis pen doien, looks at him.] 

Laura, Will — ■ please. 

Will. It has got to go just that way — 
"I do not love you." Sign it "Laura." 
[Does it.] Fold it, put it in an envelope — 
seal it — address it. Now shall 1 mail it? 

Laura, No. If you don't mind I'd 
sooner. It 'a a sort of a last — last message. 

Will [Crosses r. to armchair, gets coat, 
puts it on]. All right. You 're a little upset 
now, and 1 'm going. We are all to dine at 
Martin's to-night at seven-thirty. There'll 
be a party. Of course you'll come, 

[Gets hat and cane.] 

Laura. I don't think I can. You see — 

Will, I know. I guess there's enough 
there [indicaling money] for your immediate 
needs. Later you can straighten things up. 
Shall ] send the car? 

Laura. Yes, please. 

Will. Good, It will be the first happy 
evening I've had in a long, long time. 
You'll be ready? 

[Approaches and bends oner her as 
if to caress her.] 

Laura [shrinking away]. Please don't. 
Remember we don't dine until seven- 

WiLL. All right, [Exit.] 

[For a moment Laura si7s silent, 
OTid then angrily rises, crosses up 
to dresser, gets idcohal lamp, 
crosses to table with lamp, lights 
same, a/nd starts back to dresser. 
Knock at door.] 
Laura. Come in. [Annie enters, and 
stops.] Tlmt you, Annie? 
Annie. Yassum. 

J, Farley wants her rent, 
money [tosses money on to 



Laura. 
There is son 
able]. Take 






; goes to the table, i 
the roll of bills and is palpably 
suTpriaed.] 
Annie. Dey ain't nothin' heah. Miss 
Laura, but five great big one hunderd 
doUah bills. 

Lagra. Take two. And look in that 
upper drawer. You'll find some pawn tick- 
ets thert!, [Annie complies.] 



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Annie. Yassum. [Aside.] Dat's real 
money — dem'a yellow backs sure. 

Lauba. Take the two top ones and go 
get my lace gown and one of the hata. The 
ticket is for a hundred and ten dollars. 
Keep ten tor yourself, and hurry. 

Annie [aside]. Ten for m3^elf — I never 
Bee BO much money. [To Laura, ker asloti- 
iahntent nearly owT<Mming her.] Yaasiim, 
Miaa Ijaura, yassum. [She goee toward door, 
and then turns to Laitka.] Ah 'm so mighty 
glad yo' out all yo' trouble, Miss Laura. 
1 says to Mia' Farley now — 

Lavra. [snapping her o^. Don't — don't. 
Go do as I tell you and mind your business. 
(Annie turns sullenly and %valks toward the 
door. At tiuU moment Laura sees the letter, 
which she has thrown on the table.] Wait a 
minute. I want you to mail s letter. [By 
this time her hair is ha^ doum, hanging 
UKsely over her shmdders. Her waist is open 
at the throat, collar off, and she has the appear- 
ance of a woman's untidiness when she is 
at that parlicvlar stage of her Imlel. Hands 
letter to Annie, tut snofcfes it away as 
Annie turns la go. She glances al the letter 
long and wistfvRy, and her nerve fails her.] 
Never mind. 

[Annie exit. Slowly Laura puts 
the letter over the jlame of the 
cAcohol lamp and it ignites. As 
it buraB she holds it in her fingers, 
and when half consumed throws 
it into waste-jar, sits on side of 
bed watching letter hum, then lies 
d43wn across bed on her elbows, 
her chin in her hands, facing 
audience. As Die last flicker is 
seen the curtain slowly descends.] 

ACT III 

Scene, Two months have elapsed. The 
scene is at Bhockton's apartment in a hotel 
such as is not over parlieidar concerning the 
relations of its tenants. There are a number 
of these hotels throughout the theatre district 
of New York, and, os a rvU, one wiU find 
them usually of the same type. The room in 
which this scene is placed is that of the general 
living-T0(»n in one of the handsomest apart- 
ments in the building. The presailing color 



is green, and there is nothing particularly 
gaudy about the general furnishings. They 
are in good taste, but without the variety of 
arrangement and ornamentation which woiUd 
naturally lAtain in a room occupied by people 
a bit more partieidar concerning their sur- 
roundings. Down stage and just b. of c. is a 
table about three feet square which can lie 
used Tiot only as a gener<d centre-table, but 
also for service while the occupante are eating. 
There is a breakfast service on this table, and 
also a tray and stand behind the table. There 
is a chair al either side of the table, and at 
right coming up stage, the room turns at a 
sharp angle of thirty-five degrees from 2 (o 3, 
and this space is largely taken -up by a large 
doorway. This is equipped mth sliding- 
doors and hung with green portikres, which 
are handsome and in harmony with the gen- 
eral scheme of the furnishings of the room. 
This entrance is to the ^ping-room of the 
apartments. Al the back of stage is a large 
window or alcove. The uiindow is on the 
ordinary plan, and the mew through it shows 
the bai± of another building of New York, 
presumably a hotel of about the same char- 
acter. Green porfiires are also hung on the 
windows. Down left is the entrance to the 
corridor of the hotel, and this must be so ar- 
ranged that it works with a latch-key and 
opens upon a smaU hallway, which separaies 
Oie apartment from the main hallway. This 
is necessary as the action caUs for the slam- 
ming of a door and later the opening of the 
direct and intimate door of the apartment 
with a latch-key. At l. of c. is a sofa, and 
there is a general arrangement (4 chairs with- 
out overcrowding the apartment. Just below, 
where the right partite is hung, is a long full- 
length mirror, such as women dress by. 
Against h. fiat, between 1 and 2, is a large 
lady's fancy dresser. 

To the immediate left of the sliMng-doora, 
which go into the sleeping-apartment, is a 
lady's smaU writing-desk, vHth a practical 
drawer on the rights-hand side, in which is a 
pearl-handled 32-calibre rerobier. The front 
of the desk is open at rise. On lop of the desk 
is a desk lamp and a large box of candy, in- 
side the desk is writing material, &c. In 
■pigeon-hole left there is a small photo arid 
frame, which Annie places on the table ujben 



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( set. In front of 
centre windoii) in alcove is a smoU UAle on 
which is a pca-lor lamp, some newspapers, in- 
duding the Nev> York Sun. On the fioor 
running betv^een the desk and table is a large 
fuT rug. In front of the talde is a smtdl gilt 
cAoir; in front of desk there is also a small 
ffilt chair; between left 2 and window there is 
a pian^^ piano, on top iif which is a bundle 
of music-roUs. In place, ready to play, is a 
roll of a negro tune called " Bon-Bon Buddie, 
My ChocoUUe Drop." On top of the piano, 
in addition to the music-rolls, are a fancy 
lamp, a large basket of chrysanthemums, and 
iwo photos in frames, at the upper comer. 
Standing on the floor is a large piano lamp. 
On the sofa are c-ushiorts, and thrown over its 
back is a lady's opera-coat. On the sofa are 
also a fan arid some small dinner favors. 

On the dresser are a lady's silver toilet set, 
including powder boxes, rouge boxes, mani- 
curing implemertts, and a smaU plush black 
cat that might have been a favor at some time. 
Two little dolls hang on the side of the glass of 
the dresser, which also might have been favors. 
These are used later in the action, and ore 



At Rise. When the curtain rises on this 
scene it is noticeable that the occupants of the 
room must have returned rather late at night, 
after having dined, not wisely, but loo well. 
In the idcove is a man's dress-coat and vest 
thrown on the cushioTis in a most careless 
manner, a silk hat badly rumpled is near it. 
Over the top of sofa is an opera-cloak, and 
hung on the mirror is a huge hat, of the eve- 
ning type, such as women would pay hand- 
somely for. A pair of gloves is thrown on top 
of the pier-glass. The curtains in the bay- 
window are half drawn, and the light shades 
are half drawn down the windows, so that 
when the curtain goes up the place is in a 
rather dim light. On the ttMe are the remains 
of a breakfast, which is served in a box-like 
tray such as is used in hatets. Laitiia is dis- 
covered sitting at A. of table, her hair a bit un- 
tidy. She has on a very expensive negligee 
gown. Will, in a business suit, is at the 
other side of the table, and both have evidently 
just about coneluded their breakfast and are 
reading the newspapers while they sip their 
coffee. Lauba is intetii in the scanning of her 



Morning Telegraph, while Wili. is deep in 
the 7narket reports of the Journal of Com- 
merce, and in each instance these things must 
be made apparent. Wiw. throws dawn the 
paper rather impatiently. 

Will. Have you seen tte Sun, Laura? 

Laoha. No. 

Will. Where is it? 

Lauha. I don't know. 

Will [in a loud voice]. Annie, Annie! 
[A p<iU8e.| Annie! [In an undertone, half 
directed to Laura.] Where the devil is that 
nigger? 

Latjra. Why, J suppose she 's at break- 

WiLL. Well, she ought to be here. 
Latjba. Did it ever occur to you that 
she has got to eat just the same as you 

Will. She's your servant, isn't she? 
Laura, My maid. 

Will. Well, what have you got her for, 
— to eat or to wait on you? Annie! 

Lauba. Don't be so cross. What do you 

Will. I want the Sun. 

[Brockton pours out one Aay ffiass 
of water from bolUe.] 
Laura. I will get it tor you. 

[Rather wearily she gets up and 
goes to the table c. where there are 
other morning papers, she takes 
the Sun, hands it to him, goes 
back to her seat, reopens the 
Morning Telegraph. There is a 
pause. Annie enters from the 
sleeping-room up n.] 
Annie. Do yuh want me, suh? 
Will. Yes, I did want you, but don't 
now. When I 'm at home 1 have a man to 
look after me and I get what I want. 

Lauha. For Heaven's sake, Will, have a 
little patience. If you like your man so 
weii you had better live at home, but don't 
come around here with a grouch and bull- 
doze everybody. 

WiLi:. Don't think for a moment that 
there's much to come around here for, 
Annie, this room's stuffy. 
Annie. Yassuh. 
Will, Draw those portiSrea. 1*1 those 



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curtains up. [Annie fe(s up citrtotn.] Let's 

have a little light. Take away tJiese clothes 

and hide them. Don't you know that a 

man does n't want to see the next morning 

anything to remind him of the night before. 

Make the place look a little respectable. 

[In the meantime Annie scurries 

ttround, picking up the coat and 

vest, opera-clo^, etc., as rapidly 

as possjhle and throieing them 

over her arm mthaut any idea of 

order. It is very apparent that 

she is rather fearful of the artger 

of Will vihUe he is in this 

mood.] 

Vfihi, [looking at her]. Be careful. You're 

not taking the wash off the line. 

Annie. Yassuk. 

[Exit in confimon up n.] 
Laura [laying dovm paper arid looking at 
Will]. Well, 1 must say you're rather 
amiable this morning. 
Will. I feel like hell. 
Lauha. Market unBfttisfactory? 
Will. No; head too big. [He lights a 
cigar; as he takes a puff he makes an awful 
face.] Tastes like punk. 

[Puis cigar into cup.] 
Lat7BA. You drank a lot. 
Will. We'll have to cut out those par- 
ties. I can't do those things any more. I'm 
not as young as 1 was, and in the morning 
it makes me sick. How do you feel? 
Lacra. a little tired, that's all. 

[Rises, crosses to bureau.] 
Will. You did n't touch anything? 
Laura. No. 

Will. I guess you're on the safe side. It 
was a great old party, though, was n't it? 
Laura. Did you think so? 
Will. Oh, for that sort of a blow-out. 
Not too rou^, but just a little easy. I like 
them at night and I hate them in the morn- 
ing. [He picks up the paper and commences 
to glance it over in a casual manner, not in- 
Uffrupling his conversation.] Were you 
bored? 

Laura, Yes; always at things like that. 
Will. Well, you don't have to go. 
Laura. You asked me. 
Will. Still, you could say no. 

[Laura picks up paper, puts it on 



(a We up c, crosses back to 
bureau.] 

Lauka. But you asked me. 

Will. What did you go for if you did n't 
want to? 

Laura. You wanted me to. 

Will. I don't quit* get you. 

Laura. Well, Will, you have all my 
time when 1 'm not in the theatre, and you 
can do with it just what you please. You 
pay for it. I 'm working for you. 

Will. Is that all I've got, — just your 
time? 

Laura [wearily]. That and the rest. 
[Laura crosses up to desk, gets "part," 
crosses to sofa, turning pages of "part."] I 
guess you know. [Crosses to sofa and sits.] 

Will [looking at her curiously]. Down in 
the mouth, eh? I'm sorry. 

Laura. No, only if you want me to be 
frank, I'm a liUle tired. You may not be- 
lieve it. but I work awfully hard over at 
the theatre. Burgess will tell you that. I 
know I'm not so very good as aa actress, 
but I try to be. [Laura lies dovm on sofa.] 
I'd [ike to succeed, myself. They're very 
patient with me. Of course they've got to 
be, — that's another thing you're paying 
for, but I don't seem to get along except 
this way. 

Will, Oh, don't get sentimental. If 
you 're going to bring up that sort of talk, 
Laura, do it sometime when I have n't got 
a hang-over, and then don't forget talk 
never does count for much. 

picks up hat from box, puts it 
on, looks in mirror. She turns 
around and looks at him stead- 
fastly for a minute. During this 
entire scene, from Ike time the 
curtain nses, she must in a way 
indicate a premonition of an ap- 
proaching catastrophe, a feelinn, 
lague but nevertheless palpable, 
that sOTnethingis going to happen. 
She must hold this before her 
audience so that she can show to 
them vntiiout shmoing to him, 
the disgust she feels. Laura has 
tatted of the privations of self' 
sacrifice during her struggle, and 



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203 



she has weakly surrendered and is 
unohle to go back, but that brief 
period of self-abnegoHon has 
ghovm lo her moat clearly ihe rot- 
tenness of the other sort of liiHng. 
There is enmigh sentimentality 
laid cTnotion in her character to 
make it impossible for her to ac- 
cept Otis Tnanner of existence as 
Elfie does. Hers is ruil a nature 
tff carekss candor, but of dreamy 
ideals and better living, warped, 
handicapped, disillusioned, and 
destroyed by a tceakness that finds 
its principal force in vanity. 
Will resumes his newspaper in 
a more attenHve way. The girl 
looks at him and expresses in 
pantomime, by the slightest ges- 
ture m shrug of the shoidders, her 
groxmng distasle far him and his 
viay of living. In the meanlims 
Will is reading the paper rather 
carefuUy. He stops suddenly and 
then looks at his watch.] 

Laura. What time is it? 

Will. After ten, 

Laura. Oh. 

[Will at this moment particularly 
reads some part of the paper, 
turns to her with a keen glance of 
Buspicion and mguirj/, and then 
for a very short moment evidently 
settles in his mind a cross-exam- 
ination. He has read in Ais 
paper a despatch from Chicago, 
which speaks of JosN Madison 
hamng arrived th^re as a repre- 
sentative of a big Western mining 
syndicate which is going to open 
large operations in the Nevada 
gold-fields, and representing Mr. 
Madison as being on his way to 
New York with sufficient capital 
to enlist mm-e, and showing him 
to be now a man of means. The 
atUtude of Laura and the co- 
incidence of the despatch bring 
back to Will the scene in Denver, 
and later in New York, and with 
thai subtle intuition of the man of 
the world he connects the two.] 



Will. I don't suppose, Laura, that 
you'd be interested now in knowing any- 
thing about that young fellow out in Colo- 
rado? What was his name — Madison? 

Laura. Do you know anything? 

Will, No, nothing particularly. I've 
been rather curious to know how he came 
out. He was a pretty fresh youi^ man and 
did an awful lot of talking. I wonder how 
he's doing and how he's getting along. I 
don't suppose by any chance you have ever 
heard from him? 

Lauha, No, no; I've never heard. 

[Crosses to bureau.] 

WiLi„ I presume he never replied to that 
letter you wrote? 

Laoiu. No. 

Will. It would be rather queer, eh, if 
this young fellow should [looks at paper] 
happen to come across a lot of money — 
not that I think he ever could, but it would 
be furaiy, would n't it? 

Laura. Yes, yes; it would be unex- 
pected. I hope he does. It might make 
him happy. 

Will. Think he might take a trip East 
and see you aet. You know you've got 
quite a part now. 

IjAUBJi[impatienlly]. I wish you would n't 
discuss this. Why do you mention it now? 
[Crossing to r. of table.] Is it because you 
were drinking last night and lost your sense 
of delicacy? You once had some consider- 
ation for me. What I've done I've done. 
I'm giving you all that 1 can. Please, 
please, don't hurt me any more than you 
can help. That's all I ask. 

[Crossing up to mirror r. 3. 
Crosses back to r. of table; sits.] 

Will. Well, I'm sorry. I did n't mean 
that, Laura. I gutss I am feeling a little 
bad to-day. Really, I don't want to hurt 
your feelings, my dear. 

[He gets up, goes to her, puts his 
hands on her shoulders, and his 
cheek close lo the back of her head. 
She bends forward and shudders 
a little bit. It is very easy to see 
thai the life she is leading is be- 
cmning intolerable to her.] 

Will. You know, dearie, I do a lot for 
you fciecause you've always been on the 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



level with me. I'm Sony I hurt you, but 
there was too much wine last night and 
I 'm all upset. Forgive me. 

[Lauka, in order to avoid his ca- 
resses, has leaned forward, her 
hands are clasped between her 
knees, and she is looking straight 
outward mtk a cold, impa^siiie 
expression. Will regards her 
silenlly for a moment. Really in 
tiie man's heart there is an affec- 
tion, and reaUy he wants to try 
to comfort her; but he seems to 
realize that she has slipped away 
from the old emrironment and 
conditions, and that he simjdy 
bought her back; that he has n't 
any of her affection, eaen vnlh 
his money; thai she evinces to- 
ward him none of the old cama- 
raderie; and it hurts him, as those 
things idways hurt a selfish man, 
inclining him to he brutal and 
inconsiderate. Wii^ crosses i^ to 
c, stands reading paper; bell 
rings, pause and second bell. 
Will seizes upon this excuse to 
go up stage and over towards the 

Will [after second belt\. Damn that bell, 
IHe continues on his way, he opens 
the door, leaties it open, and passes 
on to the outer door, which he 
opens. Laura remains immov' 
able and impas^ve with the same 
cold, hard expression on her face. 



He a 



Iheo 



door v>itk effect, which one must 
hone at this point of the play, be- 
caiise it is essential to a situation 
coming later. Enters the room, 
closes the door, and holds in 
his hand a telegram. Looks from 
newspaper to telegram.] 

Will. A wire. 

Latjra. For me? 

Will. Yes. 

Laura. From whom, I wonder. Per- 
haps Elfie with a luncheon engagement. 

Will [handing to her]. I don't know. 

[Pauses up c.; he faces her, looking 



at her. She opens it quickly. She 
reads it and as she does, gasps 
quickly mtk an exclamation of 
fear and surprise. This is whal 
the despatch says (U is dated at 
Buffalo and addressed to Laura} : 
"/ wiU be in New York before 
noon. I'm coming to marry you 
and I'm coming with a bahk- 
roll. I warded to keep it secret 
and have a big surprise for you, 
bill I can't hold it any longer, be- 
cause I feel just like a kid wiOt a 
new top. Don't go ovi, and be 
ready for the big matrimonial 
thing. AU my love. John."] 

Will. No bad news, I hope? 

Laura [walking up stage roiher kwrried^]. 
No, no — not bad news. 

Will. I thought you were startled. 

Laura. No, not at all. 

Will Rooking at paper about where he had 
Uftoff]. From Elfie? 

[Crosses to and sits in armchair, 

B.C.] 

Laura, No, just a friend. 
Will. Oh! 

[He makes himself rather comfort- 
oble in the chair, and Laura re- 
gards him for a m/mient from up 
stage as if trying to figure out how 
to get rid of him.] 
Laura. Won't you be rather late getting 
down town, Will? 

Will. Does n't make any difference. 
I don't feel much like the office now. 
Thought I might order the car and take a 
spin through the park. The cold air will do 
me a lot of good. Like to go? 

Laura. No, not to-day. I thought your 

business was important; you said so last 

night. [Crosses l. to sofa, stands.] 

Will. No hurry. DoyoXi^er — want 

to get rid of me? 

Laura. Why should 17 
Will. Expectii^; someone? 
Lauha. No — not exactly. 

[Crosses up to window,] 

Will. If you don't mind, I'll stay here. 

[Lets curtain fly up.] 

Laura. Just as you please. [,4 pause. 

Crosses to piano; plays.] Will? 



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Wii 



Yes. 



Laura. How long does it taie to come 
from Buffalo? 

Will. Depends on the train you take. 

Laura. About how long? 

Will. Between eight and ten hours, I 
ttiink. Someone coming? 

Laitsa. Do you know anything about 
the trains? 

Will. Not much. Why don't you find 
out for yourself? Have Annie get the time- 

Lattba. I will. Annie! Annie! 

[Rises from piano. Annie op- 
■peam at doorway r.| 
Annie. YassumI 

Laura. Go ask one of the hall-boys to 
bring me a New York Central time-table. 
Annie. Yaaaum! 

[Crosses the stage and exit through 
door i~ Laura sits on l. arm of 

Will. Then you do expect someone, eh? 

Latjba. Only one of the girls who used 
to be in the same company with mS But 
I'm not Bure that she's coming here. 

Will. Then the wire was from her? 

Laura. Yes. 

Will. Did she say what train she was 
coming on? 

Laura- No. 

Will. Well, there are a lot of trains. 
About what time did you expect her in? 

Lauka. She did n't say. 

Will. Do I know her? 

Lauba. I think not. I met her while I 
worked in 'Frisco. 

Will. Oh ! [Resumes his pajier.] 

[Annie 

Laura. Thanks, take those breakfast 

tiuugs away, Annie. [Sits on sofa.] 

[Annie complies: Mces them across 

stage, opens tiie door leading to 

the corridor, exit. Lauba in the 

s studying the iime- 



Laura. I can't make this out. 

Will. Give it here; maybe 1 can help 



[Lauha crosses to b. of table and sits 



opposite Will, a'ld hands him 
the Ume-tabU. He lakes it and 
bandies it as if he were familiar 

Will. Where is she cominp from? 

Laura. The West; the telegram was 
from Buffalo. I suppose she was on her way 
when she sent it. 

Will. There's a train comes in here at 
9.30 — that's the Twentieth Century, tiiat 
does n't carry passengers from Buffalo; 
then there's one at 11.41; one at 1.49; an- 
other at 3.45; another at 5.40; and an- 
other at 5.48 — that's the Lake Shore 
Limited, a fast train; and all pass through 
Buffalo. Did you think ot meeting her? 

Laura. No. She'll come here when she 

Will. Knows where you live? 

LAiiRA. She has the address. 

WiiJ.. Ever been to New York before? 

Laura. I think not. 

Will [passing her the time-table]. Well, 
that's the best I can do for you, 

Laura. Thank you. 

[Crosses up. puis time-tabk in desk.] 

Will [takes up the paper again. Laura 
looks <U dock]. By George, this is tunny. 

LAirRA. What? 

Will. Speak of the devil, yon know. 

Laura. Who? 

Will. Your old friend Madison. 

Lauba {titters a slight exclamation and 
Tnakes an effort to control herself]. What — 
what about him? 

Will. He's been in Chicago. 

Laura, How do you know? 

WiLU Here's a despatch about him, 

Laura [coming quickly over to him, look- 
ing oi'er his shoulder]. What — where — 
what's it about? 

Wiu., Well, I'm damned j£ he hasn't 
done what he said he 'd do — see ! [Holds 
the paper so that she can see. Laura takes 
paper.] He's been in Chicago, and is on his 
way to New York. He's struck it rich in 
Nevada and is coming with a lot of money. 
Queer, is n't it? [Laura puts paper on 
taiile.] Did you know anything about it? 
[Lights cigarette.] 

Laura. No, no; nothing at all. 

[Crosses to 62«vau.j 



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Will. Lucky for him, eh? 
Laura. Yea, yes; it's very nice. 
Will. Too bad he could n't get this a 
little sooner, eh, Laura? 

Ladra. Oh, I don't know — I don't 

think it's too bad. What makes you ask? 

Will. Oh, nothing. 1 suppose he ought 

to be here to-day. Are you going to see him 

if he looks you up? 

Lauba. No, no; I don't want to see him. 
You know that, don't you, that 1 don't 
want to see him? What makes you ask 
tljeae questions? [Crosses lo sofa and siis.J 
Will, Just thought you might meet 
him, that's all. Don't f^et sore about it. 
Laura. I'm not. 

[She holds the telegram crumpled in 
one hand. Will lays dovm the 
■paper, and reQards Laura curi- 
ously. She sees the expression on 
his face and Oferts her head in 
order not lo meet his eye.] 
Laura. What are you looking at me that 
way for? 

Will. I was n't conscious that I was 
looking at you in any particular way — 
why? 

Latjha. Oh, nothing. I guess I'm 
nervous, too. [Lies on sofa.] 

Will. 1 dare say you are. [A pause.] 
Laura. Yes, I am. 

[Will crosses up to Laura.] 
Will. You know I don't want to delve 
into a lot of past history at this time, but 
I've got to talk to you for a moment. 

Lauba. Why don't you do it some other 

time? 1 don't want to be talked to cow. 

[Rises, crosses a iittie to l.| 

Will. But I've got to do it just the 

JjAURA {trying to effect cm altitude of re- 
signed patience and reHgnation], Well, what 
is it? [Resuming seat on sofa.] 

Will. You 've always been on the square 
with me, Laura. That's why I've liked 
you a lot better than the other women. 

Laura. Areyougoingiatoall that again 
now, this morning? I thought we under- 
stood each other. 

Will. So did I, but somehow I think 
tliat maybe, we d<m't quite understand each 



Laura. In what way? [Turns to WaL.] 

Will [looking her straight in the eye]. 
That letter I dictated to you the dav that 
you came back to me, and left it for you to 
mail — did you mail it? 

Laura. Yes. 

Will. You're quite sure? 

Laura, Yes, I'm quite sure. I would n't 






iiilv 



And you did n't know R 
was coming East until you read about it in 
that newspaper? 
Laura. No — no, I did n't know. 
Will. Have you heard from him? 
Laura. No ^ no — I have n't heard 
from him. Don't talk to me about this 
thing. Why can't you leave me alone? 
I'm miserable enough as it is. 

[Crossing to extreme R.] 
Will [crossing to table h.|. But I've got 
to talk to you. Laura, you're lying to me. 
Laura. What ! 

[She moJces a valiant effort to be- 
come angry.] 
Will. You're lying to n 
been lying to me, and I've 
Show me that telegram I 
Laura. No. 

Will [going over Unsards her]. Show me 
that telegram I 

[Laura crosses up to doors leading 
into bedroom.] 
Laura [tears telegram in half]. You've 
no right to ask me. 

Will. Are you going to make n 
away [Laura crof 
you? I've [crosses l. lo sofa] n 
hands on you yet. 

Laura. It's my business. 
[Crossing to l. of safe 
doum-sUjge side.] 



!, and you've 
e trusted you. 



laid my 



Wit 



.. Yes, B 
[During scene. Backing away from 
Will, he is following her. 
Laura backs against bureau. 
Will grabs her and attempts to 
lake telegram from her. She has 
put it in the front of waist. She 



Will. That felegrar 
Lauba. No. 



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207 



Will. I'm going to find out where I 
stand. Give me that telegram, or I'll take 
it away from you. 

Laura. No. 

Will. Come on! 

Latjra. I'll give it to yoti. 

[Takes telegram out of waisl. hands 
it to him. He takes it slowly, 
looking her squarely in the eye. 
Will crosses to c. and does not 
glance away while he slowly 
smooths U out so thai it can be 
read; wften he finally ia^es it in 
both hands to read it she staggers 
back a step or two weakly.] 

Will {thon reads the telegram alovd]. "I 
will be in New York before noon. I'm 
coming to many you, and 1 'm coming with 
a, bank-roll, I wanted to keep it a secret 
and have a big surprise for you, but 1 can't 
hold it any longer, because I feel just like a 
kid with a new top. Don't go out, and be 
ready for the big matrimonial thing. All 
my love. John." Then you knew? 

Lauha. Yes. 

Will. But you did n't know he was 
coming until this arrived ? 

Laura. No. 

Will. And you did n't mail the ietter 
\tossing telegram on table r,], did you? 

Laura. No. 

Will. What did you do with it? 

Laura. I — I burned it. 

WiLi_ Why? ILAUitA is completely over- 
come and tirtable to answer.] Why? 

Laura. I — I could n't help it — I 
simply could n't help it. 

Will. So you've been corresponding all 
this time. 

Laura. Yes. 

Will. And he does n't know [with a ges- 
ture around the room, indicating the condition 
in which they live} about us? 

Laura, No. 

Will [taking a step towards her]. By God. 
I never beat a woman in my life, but I feel 
as. though 1 could wring your neck. 

Laura, Why don't you? You've done 
everything else. Why don't you? 

Will. Don't you know that I gave 
Madison my word that if you came back 
to me I'd let him know? Don'tyouknow 



that I like that young fellow and I wanted 
to protect him, and did everything I could 
to help him? And do you know what 
you've done to me? You've made me out 
a Uar — you 've made me iie to a man — a 
man — you tmderstand. What are you 
going to do now? Tell me — what are you 
going to do now? Don't stand there as if 
you've lost your voice — how are you go- 
ing to square me? 

Lauba. I'm not thinking about squar- 
ing you. What am I going to do for him? 

Will. Not what you are going to do for 
him — what am / going to do for him. 
Why, I could n't have that young fellow 
think that I tricked him into this thing for 
you or all the rest of the women of your 
kind on earth. God! I might have known 
that you, and the others like you, could n't 
be square. [The girl looks at kim dumbly. 
He glances at his walch, walks up stage, looks 
out of the window, comes down again, goes to 
the table, and looks at her across it.] You've 
made a nice mess of it. have n't you? 

Laura [vxakly]. There is n't any meas. 
Please go away. He'll be here soon. Please 
let me see him — please do that. 

Will. No, I'll wait. This time I'm go- 
ing to tell him myself, and I don't care how 
tough it is. 

Laura [immediately regaining all her 
vitality]. No, you must n't do that. [Cross- 
ing up R. back of table to c.\ Oh, Will, I'm 
not offering any excuse. I'm not saying 
anything, but I 'm telling you the truth. I 
could n't give him up — I could n't do it. 
I love him. 

Will. Huh. 

[GHns, crosses l. to front of sofa.] 

Lausa. Don't you think so? I know you 
can't see what I see, but 1 do. And why 
can't you go away? Why can't you leave 
me this? It's all I ever had. He does n't 
know. No one will ever tell him, I'll take 
him away. It's the beat for him — it's the 
best for me. Please go. 

Will. Why — do you think that I 'ingoing 
to let you trip him the way you tripped 
me? [Crosses and sits in armchair.] No. I'm 
going to stay right here until that young 
man arrives, andi'mgoing to tellhim that 
it was n't my fault. You were to blame. 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



? to let him 



.0 give m 



Laura. Then you s 
know. You'renotgoin; 
solitary chance? 

Will. I'll give you every chance that 
you deserve when he knows. Then he c. 
do as he pleases, but there must be no mc 
deception, that 's flat. 

[Laura crosses r. and kneeU i 
swfe Will's chair.] 
JjAura. Then you must let me tell him 

— [Will ttims away impatiently] — yes, 
you must. If I did n't tell him before, I '11 
do it now. You must go. If you ever had 
any regard tor me — if you ever had any 
affection — if you ever had any friendship, 
please let me do this now. I want you to 
go — you can come back. Then you'll see 

— you '11 know — only I want to try to 
make him understand that — that maybe 
if lam weak I'm not vicious. I want to let 
him know that I did n't want to do it, but 
I could n't help it. Just give rae the chance 
to be as good as I can be. [Will gives her a 
look.] Oh, I promise you, I will tell him, 
and then — ttien I don't care what hap- 
pens — only he must leam everything from 
me — please — please — let me do this - 
it's the last favor I shall ever — ever as 
of you. Won't you? 

V JLauba breaks down and weeps 

Will [rising, looks at her a mcwent as ; 
mentally debating the best thing to do. Crosses 
B. in front of table, stands facing her with 
back to audience]. All right, I v 
kind. I'llbebackearly thisafternoon, and 
just remember, this is the time you'll have 
to go right through to the end. Understand ? 
Laura. Yes, I 'U do it, — all of it. Won't 
you please go — now? 

[Crosses; sits k. c. m armchair.] 
Will. All right. [He exits into IM bed- 
room and immediately enters again with 
overcoat on his arm and hat in hand; Ae goes 
c, aTid turns.] I am sorry for you, Ijaura, 
but remember you've got to tell the truth. 
Laura [who is sitting in a chair looking 
straight in front of her with a eet expression]. 
Please go. [Will exit door l.] 

[Laura sits in a chair in a state 
of almost stupefaction, holding 
this aitUwie as long as possible. 
Annie enters l., and in a char- 



acteristic manner begins her task 
of tidying up the room; Laora, 
without changing her attitude and 
staring straight in front of her, 
her eWows between her knees and 
her chin on her hands.] 
Laura. Annie ! 
Annie, Yassum. 

Latiha. Do you remember in the board- 
ing-house — when we finally packed up — 
what you did with everything? 
Annie. Yassum. 

Laura. You remember that I used to 
keep a pistol? 

Annie. Yo" all mean dat one yo' say 
dat gemmae out West gave yuh once ? 
Laura. Yes. 

Annie. Yassum, Ah 'membuh it, 
Laura. Where is it now? 
Annie [crosses to writing-desk]. Last Ah 
saw of it was in dis heah draw' in de writin*- 
desk. [This speech takes her across to desk, 
she opens the drawer, fumiles among a lot 
of old papers, letters, etc., and finally pro- 
duces a small thirty-two caWire, and gin- 
gerly crosses to Laura.| Is dis it? 

Laura [slowly turns around and looks at 
it]. Yes. Put it back. I thought perhaps it 
waa lost. [Annie complies when the bell 
rings. Laura starts siiddenly, involuntarily 
gathering her negligee gown closer to her 
figure, and at once she is under a great stress 
of emotion, and sways upon her feet to such 
an extent that she is obliged to put one hand 
out on to the table to maintain her balance. 
When she speaks, it is with a certain difficulty 
of articulation.] See — who — that is — 
and let me know, 

Annie [turning]. Yassum. 

[Crosses, opens the first door, and 
afterwards opens (Ae second Aw.] 
Elfib's Voice [o:ff stage]. Hello, Annie, 
— folks home? 
Annie. Yassum, she's in. 

[Laura immediately evinces her 
tremendous relief, and Elpie, 
without waiting for a reply, has 
shoved Annie aside and enters, 
Annie following and closing the 
door. Elpie is beautifully 
gowned in a morning dress with 
an overaiiundarux of fur trim/- 



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THE EASIEST WAY 






minga and all the furbelows that 
would accompany the extravagant 
raiment generally affected by a 
woman of that type. Elfib ap- 
proaching effusively.] 
EiJiB. Hello, dearie. 
Laoha. Hello, Elfie. 

[Lauba crosses and sits on sofa. 
Eltie puts mvff, etc., on table h.] 
Eii'iE. It's a bully day out. [Crossing to 
bureau, looking in mirror.] I've been shop- 
ping all morning loDg; just blew myself 
until I'm broke, that's all. My goodness, 
don't you ever get dressed? Listen. 
[Crosses I., of table to c] Talk about cinches, 
I copped out a gown, all ready made and 
fits me hke the paper on the wall, for $37.80. 
Looks like it might have cost $200. Any- 
way I had them eharge $200 on the bill, 
and I kept the change. There are two or 
three more down town there, and I want 
you to go down and look them over. Mod- 
els, you know, being sold out. I don't 
blame you for not getting up earUer. [She 
sits at the table, not noticing Laura.] That 
was some party last night. I know you 
did n't drink a great deal, but gee ! what an 
awful tide Will had on. How do you feel? 
[Looks at her critically.) What's the matter, 
are you sick? You look a!l in. What you 
want to do is this — put on your duda and 
go out for an hour. It's a perfectly grand 
day out. My Gaud! how the sun does 
shAie! Clear and cold. [A pause.) Well, 
much obliged tor the conversation. Don't 
I get a "Good-morning," or a "How-dy- 
do," or a something of that sort? 

Laura, I'm tired, Elfie, and blue — 
terribly blue. 

Elfie (rises, crosses to Laura]. Well 
now, you just brace up and cut out all that 
emotional stuff. I came down to take you 
for a drive. You'd hke it; just through the 
park. Will you go? 
Laura [going r. up stage]. Not this 
-oming, dear; I'm expecting somebody. 
■■ Elfie. A man? 

Laura [finding it almost impossibU U> 
suppress a smile]. No, a gentleman. 
EiPiE. Same thing. Do I know him? 
LA.TiitA. You've heard of him. 

[At desk looking al clock.] 



Elfie. Well, don't be so mysterious. 
Who is he? 

Laoba. What is your time, Elfie? 

Elfeb [looks at her watch]. Five minutes 
past eleven. 

Laura. Oh, I'm slow. I did n't know it 
was so late. Just excuse me, won't you, 
while I get some clothes on. He may be 
here any moment. Annie! 

[She goes up stage towards portikres.] 

Elfie. Who? 

Laura. I'll tell you when 1 get dressed. 
Make yourself at home, won't you, dear? 

Elfie. I'd sooner hear. What is the 
scandal anyway? 

Laura |o3 she goes out]. I'll tell you in a 
moment. Just as soon as Annie get^ 
through with me. [Exit r, upper.] 

Elfie [gets candy-box off desk, crosses, sits 
on Tu arm of sofa selecting candy. In a louder 
voice]. Do you know, Laura, I think I'll 
go back on fbe stage. 

Laura [off stage]. Yes? 

Elfie. Yes, I'm afraid I'll have to. I 
think I need a sort of a boost to my popu- 

Laura. How a boost, Elfie? 

Elfib. I think Jerry is getting cold feet. 
He 'b SEieing a httle too much of me [places 
candy-box on sofa] nowadays. 

Laura. What makes you think that? 

Elpie. I think he is getting a relapse of 
that front-row habit. There's no use in 
talldi^, Laura, it's a great thing for a giri's 
credit when a man like Jerry can take two 
or three friends to the theatre, and when 
you make your entrance delicately point 
to you with his forefinger and say, "The 
third one from the front on the left belongs 
to muh." The old fool's hanging around 
some of these musical comedies lately, and 
I'm getting a little nervous every time rent 

Lauka, Oh, I guess you'll get along all 
right, Elfie. 

Elfie [with serene self-satisfaction]. Oh, 
that's a cinch [rises, crosses b. to table, look- 
ing in dresser mirror at herself, and giving 
her hat and hair little touches], but I hke to 
leave well enough alone, and if I had to 
make a change right now it would require 
a whole lot of thought and attention, to 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



aay nothing of the inconvenience, and I' 
ao nicety settled la my flat. [Slie sees ti 
pianola.] Say, dearie, when did you get 
the piano player? I got one o! them phono- 
graphs [crosses l. U) pianola, ines the levers, 
etc.], but this has got that beat a city block. 
How does it work? What did it cost? 

IiAtTRA. I don't know. 

Elfib. Well, Jerry's got to stake me to 
one of these. [Looks iwer the rolls on top. 
Mu-nMes to herself .] "Tannhauaer, William 
Tell, Chopin." [Then louder.] Liat«n, dear. 
Ain't you got anything else except all this 
high-brow stuff? 

La-ora. What do you want? 

Elfie. Oh, something with a regular 
tune to it [looks at empty box on pianola]. 
Oh, here's one; just watch me tear this off. 
[The roll is (A« tune of "Bon-Bon Buddie, 
My Chocolate Drop." She starts to play and 
moves the lever marked "Swell" wide open, 
increases the tempo, and is pumping unth all 
the delight and enthusiasm, of a child.] Ain't 
it grand? 

Laura, Gracious, Elfie, don't play bo 
loud. What's the matter? 

Elfie. I shoved over that thing marked 
"Swell." [Stops and iurras. Rises, crosses to 
L. c, ataTids.) I sure will have to speak to 
Jerry about this. I'm stuck on that swell 
thing. Hurry up. ILauha appears,] Geel 
you look pale. [And then in a tone of sym- 
pathy:] I'll [crosses to c] just bet you and 
Will have had a fight, and he always gets 
the best of you, does n't he, dearie? 
[Lauba crosses to dresser k. and busies her- 
self.] Listen. Don't you think you can 
ever get him trained? I almost threw Jerry 
down the stairs the other night and he came 
right back with a lot of American beauties 
and a check. I to)d him if he did n't look 
out 1 'd throw him downstairs every night. 
He's getting too damned independent and 
it's got me nervous. Oh, dear, I s'pose I 
will have to go back on the stage. 

[Siis in armchair r. c.] 

Laura. In the chorus? 

Elpie. Well, I should say not! I'm go- 
ing to give up my musical career. Charlie 
Burgess is putting on a new play, and he 
says he has a part in it for me it I want to 
go back. It is n't much, but very impor- 



tant, — sort of a pantomime part. A lot of 
people talk about me and just at the right 
time I walk acro^ the stage and make an 
awful hit. 1 told Jerry that if I went 
[Latjra crosses to sofa, picks up candy-box, 
puts it upon desk, gets telegram off table B., 
crosses to r. c.] on he'd have to come across 
with one of those Irish crochet lace gowns. 
He fell tor it. Do you know, dearie, I think 
he'd sell out his business just to have me 
back on tie stage for a couple of weeks, 
just to give box parties every night for my 
en-trance and ei-its. 

Laura [serimtsly], Elfie! 

[Laura takes Elfie by the hand, 
leads her oier to sofa. Laura siis, 
Eltie standing L. c] 
Elfie, Yes, dear. 

LAtmA. Come over here and sit down. 
Elfie. What's up? 

Laura. Do you know what I 'm going 
to ask of you? 

Elfie. If it's a touch, you'll have to 
wait until next week. 

[Siis opposite Laura.] 
Laura. No; just a little advice. 
Elfie [vnth a smile]. Well, that's cheap, 
and Lord knows you need it. What's hap- 
pened? 

[Laura lakes the crumpled and 
torn telegram that Will has left 
on the table and hands it to Elfie. 
The tatter puts the tuio pieces 
together, reads it very carefully, 
looks up at Laura obouf middle 
of telegram, and lays it down.] 
Elfie. Well? 

Laura. Will suspected. There was 
something in the paper about Mr. Madison 
— the telegram came — then we had a row. 
Elfie. Serious? 

Ladra. Yes. Do you remember what I 
told you about that letter — the one Will 
made me write — I mean to John — tell- 
ing him what I had done? 
Elfie. Yes, you burned it. 
Laura. I tried to lie to Will — ht 
would n't have it that way. He seemed to 
know. He was furious. 
Elfie. Did he hit you? 
Laura. No; he made me admit that 
John did n't know, and then be Esid he'd 



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THE EASIEST WAY 



stay here and tell himself that I'd made 
him lie, aad then he said something about 
liking the other man and wanting to save 

Elfib. Save — shucks! He's jealous. 

Laura. J told him it he'd only go I'd — 
tell John myself when he came, and now 
you see 1 'm waiting — and I 've got to tell 
— - and — and I don't know how to begin 

— and — and I thought you could help me 

— you seem so sort of resourceful, and it 
means — it means so much to me. If John 
turned on me now I could n't go back to 
Will, and, Elfie, — 1 don't think I'd care 
to — stay here any more. 

Elpie. What! [In an ajveslruck time, 
taking Ladba in her arms impulsii>ely.] 
Dearie, get that nonsense out of your head 
and be sensible. I'd just like to see any 
two men who could make me think about 

— well — what you seem to have in your 

Latjba, But I don't know; don't you 
see, Elfie, I don't know. If I don't tell him 
Will will come back and he'li tell him, and 
1 know John, and maybe — Elfie, do you 
know, I think John would kill him. 

Elfie. Well, don't you think anything 
about that. Now let's get {rises, crosses to 
armchair, draws it over a liltle, siis on l. arm] 
down to cases, and we have n't much time. 
Business is buainees, and love is lo\e 
You're long on love and I'm long on bu'ii 
ness, and between the two of us we ought 
to straighten this thing out. Now, cm 
dently John is coming on here to marry you 

Laura. Yes. 

Elfie. And you love him? 

Laura. Yes. 

Blpib. And aa far as you know the mo- 
ment that he comes in here it's quick to 
the justice and a big matrimonial thing, 

Laura. Yes, but you see how impossible 
it is — 

Elfib. I don't see anything impossible. 
From all you've said to me about this fel- 
low there is only one thing to do. 

Laura. One thing? 

Elfib. Yes — get married quick. You 
say he has the money and you have the 
love, and you're sick of Brockton, and yovi 
want tc switch and do it in the decent, 



conventional way, and he's 
going to take you away. Have n't you got 
sense enough to know that once you're 
married to Mr. Madison that Will Brock- 
ton would n't dare go to him, and if he did 
Madison would n't believe him. A man will 
believe a whole lot about his girl, but 
nothing about bis wife. 

Laura [turns and looks at her. There is a 
long poTise], Elfie [rises, crosses to n. of 
table] — I — I don't think I could do like 
that t« John, 1 don't think — I could 
deceive him. 

EuiB, You make me sick. The thing to 
do is to lie to all men [rises, pushes chair to 
table] — they all Me to you. Protect your- 
self. You aeem to think that your happi- 
ness depends on this. Now do it. Listen. 
[Touches Laura to make her sit dovm; 
Laura sits r. of table; Elfie st(s on h. arm 
of chair l, of table, elbows on ioile.) Don't 
you realize tJiat you and me, and all tie 
girls that are shoved into this life, are prac- 
tically the common prey of any man who 
happens to come along? Don't you know 
that they've got about as much considera- 
tion for UB as they have for any pet animal 
around the house, and the oijy way that 
we've got it on the animal is that we've 
got brains. This is a game, Laura, not a 
sentiment. Do you suppose this Madison 
[Lavr4 (urns to Elfib) — now don't get 
sore — has n't turned these tricks himself 
before he met you and I'll gamble he's 
done it since A man's natural trade is 
a heartbreaking buf-iness. Don't tell me 
about women breaking men's hearts. The 
onlv thing they can ever break is their 
bank-roll And besides, this is not WiJl'a 
business he has no right to interfere. 
You've been with him — yes, and he's 
been nice to ^ou but I don't think that 
he 1 given \ou am the best of it. Now if 
you want to leave and go your own way 
and marry any Tom, Dick, or Harry that 
you want, it's nobody's affair but yours. 

Laura. But you don't understand-— 
it's John. I can't lie to him. 

Elfie. Well, that's too bad about you. 
I used to have that truthful habit myself, 
and the best I ever got was the worst of it. 
All this talk about Jove and loyalty and 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



constancy is fine and dandy in a book, but 
when a girl has to look out for herself, take 
it from me, whenever you've got that 
trump card up your sleeve just play it and 
rake in the pot. [Takes IjlXI&a'b hand affec- 
lionately.] You know, dearie, you're just 
about the only one in tie world I love. 

Lauba. Elfie! 

Elfie. Since I broke away from the folks 
up state and they've heard things, there 
ain't any more letters coming to me with 
an Oswego postmark. Ma's gone, and the 
rest don't care. You're all I've got in the 
world, Laura, and what I'm asking you 
to do is because I want to see you happy. 
1 was afraid this thing was coming off, and 
the thing to do now is to grab your happi- 
ness, no matter how you get it nor where it 
comes from. There ain't a whole lot of joy 
in this world for you and me and the others 
we know, and what little you get you've 
got to take when you're young, because 
when those gray hairs begin to come, and 
the make-up is n't going to hide the 
wrinkles, unless you're well fixed it's going 
to be hell. You know what a fellow docs n't 
know does n't hurt him, and he'll love you 
just the same and you'll !ove him. As for 
Brockton, let him get ajiother girl; there 're 
plenty 'round. Why, if this chance came 
to me I'd tie a can to Jerry so quick that 
you could hear it rattle all the way down 
Broadway. [Rises, crosses back of table to 
Laura, foans over back of chair, and puis 
arms arouttd her neck very teTulerty.] Dearie, 
promise me that you won't be a damn fool. 
[The bell rings; both start,] 

Lavra [rises]. Maybe that's John. 

[Elfie brushes a tear quickly from 
her eye.] 

Elfie. Oh ! And you '11 promise me, 

Laura. I'll try. [Annie enters up staye 
from Ike adjoining room and crosses to the 
door.] It that's Mr. Madison, Annie, tell 
him to come in. 

[She stands near the table, almost 
rigid. Instinctively Elpib goes 
to 0te mirror and rearrottges her 
gown and hair as Annie exit. 
Elfie turns to Laura.] 
Elfie. If 1 think he's the fellow when I 



see him, watch me and I'll tip you the 

[Kisses Latjba, crosses c. up, puts 
on coal. She goes up stage to c. 
Laura remains in her position. 
The doors are heard to open, and 
in a moment JoBN enters. He is 
dressed very neaOy in a busiitess 
suit and his face is tanned and 
weather-beaten. After he enters 
he stands still for a moment. The 
emotion thai both he and Laitra 
go through is sueh thai each is try- 
ing to control it, Lavra from the 
agony of her position and John 
from the mere hurt of his ageo- 
tion. He seea Elfie and forces 
a smite.] 
John [quietly]. Heilo, Laura I I'm on 

JLacra smiles and quickly crosses 

the stage and holds out her hand.] 

Lauha. Oh, John, I'msoglad — soglad 

to see you. [They hold this position for a 

moment looking into each other's eyes. Elfie 

mores so as to take John in from head to toe 

and is obviously very much pleased with his 

appearance. She ayughs slightly. Lauha 

lakes a step back itrith a smile,] Oh, pardon 

me, John — one of my dearest friends, 

Miss Siaclair; she's heard a lot about you. 

[Elfie, with a slight gush, in her 

most capttmUing manner, goes 

over and holds out her gloved hand 

laden mth brocekls, and with 

her sweetest smiie crosses to l. c] 

EuiE. How do you do? 

Madison. I 'm glad to meet you, I 'm sure. 

Elfie [still holding John's hand]. Yes, 

I'm sure you are — particularly just at 

this time. [To Laura.] You know that old 

stuff about two's company and three 

[Laura smites] is a crowd. Here's where I 

vamoose. [Crosses to door, t,.] 

Laura [as Elpie goes toward door]. Don't 

hurry, dear. 

Elfie [mth a grin]. No, I suppose not; 
just fall down stairs and get out of the way, 
that's all. [Crosses r. to John.] Ans^uay, 
Mr. Madison, I'm awfully glad to havf 
met you, and I want to congratulate you 
They tell me you're rich. 



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a 13 



John. Oh, no; not rich. 
Elfib, Well, I don't believe you — any- 
way I'm going. Ta-ta, dearie. Good-bye, 
Mr. Madison. 
John. Good-bye. 

[John creases up to back of sofa, 
remmKS coat, puts it on sofa.] 
Elfie ]goes to the door, opens it and turns. 
John's boek is partly tmeard her and she gives 
a long wink at Laura, snapping fingers lo 
attract Laura's attention]. I must say, 
Iiaura, that when it comes to picking live 
ones, you certainly can go some. [Exit.] 
[After this remark both turn toward 
her and both smile. After Elfib 
exit, John turns to Laura with 
a pleasant smile, and jerks his 
head towards the door where 
Elite has gone out.] 
John. I bet she's a character. 
Latjra. She's a dear. 
John. I can see that all right. 

[Crossing to c.| 
Latjha. She's been a very great friend 
tome. 

John. That's good, but don't I get a 
"how-dy-do," or a hand-shake, or a little 
kiss? You know I've come a long way. 

[Ladra goes to him antt places her- 
self *" Aie arms; he kisses her 
affectionately. During aU this 
scene between them the lendemens 
of the man is very apparent. As 
she releases herself from his em- 
brace he takes her face in his 
hands and holds it up towards 

John. I 'm not much on the love-making 
business, Laura, but I never thought I'd 
be as happy as I am now. [John ond Laura 
cross to R. c. Laura kneels in arTnchaii with 
hadz to audience, John stands L.j I've been 
counting mi!eposts ever since I left Chicago, 
and it seemed like as if I had to go 'round 
the world before I got here. 

Laura. You never told me about your 
good fortune. If you had n't telegraphed 
I would n't even have known you were 
coming. 

John. I did n't want you to. I'd made 
up my mind to sort of drop in here and give 
you a great big surprise, — a happy one, 



I knew, — but the papers made such a 
fuss in Chicago that I thought you might 
have read about it — did you? 

Lad HA. No. 

John. Gee! fixed up kind o' scrumptious, 
ain't you? [Crosses l. in front of sofa, around 
behind it to c, surveying rooms.] Maybe 
you 've been almost as prosperous aa I have. 

Laura. You caa get a lot of gilt and 
cushions in New York at half price, and 
besides, I've got a pretty good part now, 

John. Of course I know that, but 1 
did n't think it would make you quite so 
comfortable. Great, ain't it? 

Laura. Yes. 

John [standirtg beside her chair, with a 
smile]. Well, are you ready? 

Laura. For what, dear? 

[Looking up at him.] 

John. You know what I said in the tele- 

Laura. Yes. 

[Lean* her head affectionately on 
his shoulder.] 

John. Well, 1 meant it. 

Laura. I know. 

John. I've got to get back [John leaks 
around, crosses behind tabt« to chair r. of 
table, nls facing her across t/Ale], Laura, just 
as soon as ever I can. There'salot of work 
to be done out in Nevada and I stole away 
to come to New York. I want to take you 
back. (!!an you go? 

Laura. Yes — when? 

John. This afternoon. We'll take the 
eightcen-hour train to Chicago, late this 
afternoon, and connect at Chicago with the 
Overland, and I '11 soon have you in a home. 
[Pause.] And here's another secret. 

Laura. What, dear? 

John. I've got that home all bought 
and furnished, and while you could u't call 
it a Fifth Avenue residence, still it has got 
something on any other one in town. 

Laura. But, John, you've been so mys- 
terious. In all your letters you have n't 
told me a single, solitary thing about your 
good luck. 

John. I've planned to take you out and 
show you all that. 

Laura. You should have told me, I've 



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John. I waited until it was a dead-sure 
thing. You know it's been pretty tough 
sledding out there in the mining country, 
and it did look as if I never would make a 
strike; but your spirit was with me and 
luck was with me, and I knew if I could 
only hold out that something would come 
my way, I had two pals, both ot them 
miners, — they had the knowledge and I 
had the luck, — and one day, clearing away 
& little snow to build a fire, I poked my toe 
into the dirt, and there was aomethin' tiere, 
dearie, that looked suspicious. I called Jim, 
— that's one of the men, —and in less 
time than it takes to tell you there were 
three majiiaca scratching away at old 
mother earth for all there was in it. We 
staked our claims in two weeks, and I came 
to Reno to raise enough money for me to 
come East. Now things are all fixed and 
it's just a matter of time. 

[Taking Laura's hand.) 

Laura. So you're very, very rich, dear? 

John. Oh, not rich [reieaBing her hand 
he leans back in his chair], just heeled. I'm 
not going down to the Wall Street bargain 
counter and buy the Union Pacific, or any- 
ibiag like that; but we won't have to take 
the trip on tourists' tickets, and there's 
enough money to make us comfortable all 
the rest of our lives. 

Laura. How hard you must have 
worked and suffered. 

John. Nobody else ever accused me of 
that, but I sure will have to plead guilty 
to you. [Rises, stands at ». upper side of 
table.] Why, dear, sinoe the day you came 
into my life hell-raising took a sneak 
out the back door and God poked His 
toe in the front, and ever since then I think 
He's been coming a little closer to me. 
[Crossing to h. c.j I used to be a fellow with- 
out much faith and kidded everybody who 
had it, and I used to say to those who prayed 
and believed, "You may be right, but show 
me a message." You came along and you 
brought that little document in your sweet 
face and your dear love. Laura, you turned 
the trick for me, and 1 think I'm almost a 
regular man now. 

[Laura (urns away in pain; the 
Tealisalion of all she is to John 



weighs heavily upon her. Sh« 
almost loses her nerve, and is on 
the verge of not going through 
with her delerminaiion to get her 
happiness at any price.] 

Laura. John, please, don't. I'm not 
worth it. [Rises, crosses to r.] 

John [viith a light air]. Not worth it? 
Why, you're worth [crossing behind table 
H. stands behind Laura] that and a whole 
lot more. And see how you've got onl 
Brockton told me you never could get along 
in your profession, but I knew you could, 
[Grasses to b. back of Laura, takes her by 
the shoulders, shakes her playfvlly.] 1 knew 
what you had in you, and here you are. 
You see, if my foot had n't slipped on the 
right ground and kicked up pay-dirt, you'd 
been all right. You succeeded and I suc- 
ceeded, but I'm going to take you away; 
and after a while when things sort of 
smooth out, and it's all clear where the 
money's [crosses lo sofa and sits] coming 
from, we're going to move back here, and 
go to Europe, and just have a great time, 
like a couple of good pais. 

Laura [sioidy crosses to John]. But if I 
had n't succeeded and if things — things 
were n't just as they seem — would it make 
any difference to you, John? 

John. Not the least in the world. [He 
takes her in his arms and kisses fter, draining 
her on to sofa beside him.] Now don't you 
get blue. I should not have surprised 
you this way. It's taken you off your 
feet. [He looks at his watch, rises, crosses l. 
behind sofa, gels overcoat.] But we've not 
any time to lose. How soon can you get 
ready? 

Laura [kneeling on sofa, leaning over 
back]. You mean to go? 

John. Nothing else. 

Laura. Take all my things? 

John. All your duds. 

Laura. Why, dear, I can get ready most 

John [crossing r. to c, looking off into 
bedroom]. That your maid? 

Laura. Yes, — Annie. 

John. Well, you and she can pack every- 
thing you want to take ; the rest can follow 
later. [Puts coat on.] I planned it all out. 



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There 's a couple of the boya working down 
town, — newspaper men on Park Row. 
Telephoned them when I got in and they 're 
waiting for me. I'll just get down there aa 
soon as I can 1 won't be gonp long 

Lacka How long' 

John I don t know just hoiv long but 
we il make that train I II get the hoense 
We 11 be married and we 11 be off on our 
honeymoon thi^ afternoon Can jou do 
It' 

[LaTjHA gocb Tip to hvm puts her 
hands >n his and they confront 
each other ] 

Laura 'i es dear I could do anj thing 
for you 

[He lakes her in kis arms aiui hisses 
her again. Looks al her tenderly.] 

JoBN. That's good. Hurry now. I won't 
be long. Good-bye, 

Laura. Hurry back, John. 

John. Yes. I won't be long. {Exit u] 

Laura [stands for a mcmeVii looking after 
him, then she suddefily recovers herself ond 
walks rapidly over to the dresser, picks up 
large jewel-case, takes doll that is hanging on 
dresser, puts them on her left arm, takes black 
eat in her right hand and uses it in ejnpha- 
sizing her tvords in tidking to AnNiE. Places 
them all on table r.|. Annie, Annie, come 

Annie. Yaasum. 

[She appears at the door.] 
Laoha. Annie, I'm going away, and 
I've got to hurry. 
Annie. Goin' away? 
Laura. Yea. I want you to bring both 
my trunks out here, — I'll help you, — 
and start to pack. We can't teJte every- 
thing [Annib throws fur rug from across 
doorway into bedroom], but bring all the 
clothes out and we'll hurry as fast as we 
can. Come on. 

[Exit Laura with Annie. In a 
very short interval she reappears, 
and both are carrying a large 
trunk between them. They put it 
down -up stage l., pushing sofa 
back.] 
Annie, Look out for your toes, Miss 

Laura. I can take two. 



Annib, Golly, such excitement! [Crosses 
to table R., pushes U over further, also armr- 
chair.] Wheah yuh goin' , Miss Laura? 

Lauha. Never mind where I'm gcang. 
I have n't any time to waste now talking. 
I'll tell you later. This is one time, Annie, 
that you've got to move. Hurry up. 

[Lauha pushes her in front of her. 
Eieunt the same way and reap- 
pear with a smaller IrurUc.] 
Aknie. Look out fo' your dress. Miss 
Laura. 

[These trunks are of the same type 
as those in Act IT. When Ike 
trunks are put down Lavra 
opens one and commences to 
throw things ovl. Annie stands 
watching her, Laura kneels in 
front of trunk L., teorking and 
humming "Bon-Bon Buddie."] 
Annib. Ah nevah see you so happy. Miss 

Laiih,\. I never was bo happy. For 
Heaven's sake, go get something. Don't 
stand there looking at me. 1 want you to 

Annie. I'll bring out all de fluffy ones 
first. 

Lacba. Yes, everything. 

[Annie enters witharmfvl of dresses 
and hatbox of tissue paper, 
dumps tissue paper on floor c, 
puts dresses in trunk c] 
Annie [goes out again. Outside]. You 
goin' to take dat opera-cloak? [Enters with 
■mate dresses, puts them on sofa, takes opera- 
cloak, spreads it on top of dresses on trunk c] 
My, but dat's a beauty. 1 jest love dat 
crushed rosey one. [Exit up R.] 

Lauha. Annie, you put the best dresses 
on the foot of the bed and I'll get tJiem 
myself. You heard what I said? 
Annie [off stage]. Yassum. 

[Annie hangs dres^j. across bed in 
alcove Laura corUmues busity 
arranging the amients of the 
trunk, placing some garments 
here and some there, as if she 
were sorting them out Will 
quietly enters and stands al the 
door looking at her He holds 
th^i poiUmn as long as possibif. 



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and when he speaks it is in a 
very qmet tone.] 

Will. Going away? 

Laura [steris, rises, and Cfmfronts him]. 
Yes. 

Will. In somewhat of a hurry, I should 
say. 

liAtTHA. Yes. 

Will. What's the plan? 

Ladra. I'm just going, that's all. 

Will. Madison been here? 

Laura. He's just left. 

Will. Of course you are going with him? 

Latjba, Yes. 

Will. West? 

Laura. To Nevada. 

Will. Going — er — to get married? 

Laura. Yes, this afternoon. 

Will. So he did n't care, then? 

Laura. What do you mean when you 
say "he did n't care"? 

Will. Of course you told him about the 
letter, and how it was burned up, and all 
that sort of thing, did n't you? 

Laura. Why, yes. 

Will. And he said it did n't make any 
difference? 

Laura. He — he didn't say anything. 
We're just going to be married, that's all. 

Will, Did you mention my name and 
say that we'd been rather companionable 
for the last two months? 

Laura. I told him you'd been a very 
good friend to me. 

[During this scene Laura ansviers 
Will vdth difficulty, and to a 
man of the world it is quite ap- 
parent that she is not letting the 
truth. Will looks over toward 
her in an almost tkrealeningiaay.] 

Will. How soon do you expect him 
back? [Crossing to r. c] 

Laura. Quite soon. I don't know just 
exactly how long he'll be. 

Will. And you mean to tell me that you 

kept your promise and told him the truth? 

[CrossiTig to (runfc l,] 

Laura. I — I — [Then with defiance.] 
What buaineaa have yon got to ask me 
that? What business have you got to inter- 
fere anyway? 

[Crossing up to bed in alcove, gets 



dresses off foot, crosses l., puis 
Ihem on sofa.] 
Will [quietly]. Then you've Ued ag^n. 
You lied to him, and you just tried to lie 
to me now. T must say, Laura, that you're 
not particularly clever at it, although 1 
don't doubt but that you've had consid- 
erable practice. 

[Gives her a searching look and 
slowly vnlks over s. C. to the 
chair at the table and sits dtmm, 
still holding kis hat in his hand 
and vrithmit removing his over- 
coat. Laura sees Brockton 
sitting, stops and turns on him, 
laying dresses down.] 
Laura. What are you going to do? 
Will. Sit down here and rest a few mo- 
ments; maybe longer. 

Laura. You can't do that. 
Will. I don't see why not. This is my 
own place. 

Lauba. But don't you see that he'll 
come back here soon and find you here? 

Will. That's just exactly what I want 
him to do. 

,-<Laura [with suppressed emotion almost 
on the verge of hysteria]. 1 want to tell you 
this. If you do this tiling you'll ruin my 
life. You've done enough to it already. 
Now I want you to go. You've got to go. 
I don't think you've got any right to come 
here now, in this way, and take this hap- 
piness from me. I've given you every- 
thing I've got, and now I want to live 
right and decent, and he wants me to, and 
we love each other. Now, Will Brockton, 
it's come to this. You've got to leave this 
place, do you hear? You've got to leave 
this place. Please get out. 

[Crossing to trunk l.] 
Will [rises and comes to her]. Do you 
think I'm going to let a woman make a 
liar out of me? I'm going to stay right 
here. I like that boy, and I'm not going 
to let you put him to the bad. 
Laura. I want you to go. 

[Slams trunk lid dovm, crosses B. to 
dresser, opens drawer to gel stuff 

Will. And I tell you I won't go. I'm 
going to show you up. I'm going to tell 



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217 



him the truth. It is n't you I care for — 
he's got to know. 

Laura [slants dravxr shut, crosses 1,. to 
R. c, loses her temper, and is almost tiger- 
like in her anger]. You don't care for me? 

Will. No. 

Laura. It is n't me you're thinking of? 

Will. No. 

Laura. Who's the liar now? 

Will. Liar? 

Laura. Yes, liar. You are. You don't 
care for this man, and you know it. 

Will. You're foolish. 

Laura. Yes, I am foolish and I've been 
foolish aU my life, but I'm getting a little 
sense now. [Kneels in arTnehair^.c. facing 
Will, her voice is shaky tetift anger and tears.] 
AE my life, since the day you first took me 
away, you've planned and planned and 
planned to keep me, and to trick me and 
bring me down with you. When you came 
to me I was happy. I did n't have much, 
just a little salary and some hard work. 

Will. But like all the rest you found 
that would n't keep you, didn't you? . 

Laura. You say I'm bad, but who's 
made mc so? Who took me out night after 
night? Who showed me what these luxu- 
ries were? Who put me in the habit of 
buying something I could n't afford? You 
did. 

Will. Well, you liked it, did n't you? 

Laura. Who got me in debt, and then, 
when I would n't do what you wanted me 
to, who had me discharged from the com- 
pany, so I had no means of living? Who 
followed me from one place to another? 
Who, always entreating, tried to trap me 
into this life, and I did n't know any 

Will. You did n't know any better? 

Laura. I knew it was wrong — yes; but 
you told me everybody in this business did 
that sort of thing, and I was just as good 
as anyone else. Finally you got me and you 
kept me. Then when I went away to Den- 
ver, and for the first time found a gleam of 
happiness, for the first time in my life — 

Will. You're crazy. 

Laura. Yes, I am crazy. [Rises angrily, 
crossing r,, sweeps lahle-f.over off table, 
crosses to dresser, knocks botUes, etc., off 



y 



■upper end, turns, faces Mm, almost screai/i- 
ing.] You've made me crazy. You fol- 
lowed me to Denver, and then when I got 
back you bribed me again. You pulled me 
down, and you did the same old thing until 
this hapjjened. Now I want you to get out, 
you understand? I want you to get out. 

Will. Laura, you can't do this. 

ISterts to sit on trunk l.] 

La OH A [screaming, crossing l. to Will, 
she attempts to push kim]. No, you won't; 
you won't stay here. You're not going 
to do this thing again. I tell you I'm going 
to be happy. I tell you I 'm going to be 
married. [He does n't resist her very strongly. 
Her anger and ker rage are entirely new to 
kim. He is surmised tmd cannot understand.] 
You won't see him; I tell yow, you won't 
tell him. You've got no business to. I 
hate you. I've hated you for months. I 
hate the sight of your face. I 've wanted to 
go, and now I'm going. You've got to 
do you hear? You've got to get out — 
out, [Pushes him a^ai 

Will [throwing her off, Laura stopper* 
to armchair, rises, crosses l.]. What the 
hell is the use of fussing with a woman? 

[Exit L.| 

LAjmti [hysterically], I want to be happy, 
I'm going to be married, I'm going to be 
happy. 

[Sinks doum in exhausted state in 
front of trunk, L.j 



ACT IV 

Scene. The same scene as Act III. It is 
about two o'clock in the oflemoon. 

At Rise. Whenthe curtain rises, thereare 
two big trunks and one smoK one up stage. 
These are marked m the usual theatrical 
fashion. There aie grips packed, umbteUas, 
and the usual paraphernaho that accom- 
panies a woman when she is making a per- 
manent departure from her place of living. 
All the bric-d-brac, etc., has been remMied 
from dresser. On dovm-Uage end <^ dresser 
is a small alligator bag containtng ntghlr 
dress, tmtet articles, and bunch of keys. The 
dresser drawers are some of them half open. 



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ami old pieces of tissue paper and ribbons are 
hanging out. The wrUing-deik has had all 
materialB removed and is open, skowing 
scraps of tom-up letters, and in one pigeon- 
hole is a New Yoik Central iiTne-toWe; be- 
tveen desk and bay-mndoti> is a lady's hat- 
trunk containing huge picture hat. It is 
elaaed. Behiiid table r. is a suitcase with 
which Annie is working when curtain jTses. 
Under desk are two old millinery boxes 
around which are scattered old tissue paper, 
a pair of M slippers, a woman's sh^by 
hat, old ribbon, etc. In front of window l,. 
at end of pianola is thrown a lot of old 
empty boxes such as ore used for stacking 
and shirtwaist boxes. The picture frame and 
basket (^ flowers have been removed from 
pianola. The stool is on top of pianola up- 
side down. There is an empty White Rock 
bottle, with glass turned over it, standing 
between (Ae legs of the stool. The big trunk 
is L. in front of sofa, and packed, and it has 
a suHng tray under which is packed a fancy 
evening gown; the lid is down. On top of 
lid are an wnbrella, lady's travelling-coat, 
hat, and gloves. On sofa l. end are a large 
Gladstone bag packed and fastened, a smaller 
tnmk c. (thirty-four inch), tray with lid. 
In tray are articles of wearing apparel. In 
end of tray is revolver wrapped in tissue 
paper. Trunk is closed, and supposed to be 
locked. Tossed across s^ arm of armchair are 
coupk of violet cords. Down stage centre is 
large piece of wide tan ribbon. The room has 
general appearance of having been stripped 
of aU personal belongings. There are old 
magaiines and tissue paper all over the place. 
Bearskin rug is thrown up against table in 
low vHndow, the furniture is all on stage as 
iiaed in Act III. At rise Lacea is sitting on 
trunk L. with clock in hand. Annie is on 
fiooT behind table r. fastening suitcase. 
LaT/Ra is pale and perturbed. 

Annie. Ain't yuh goin' to let me come 
to yuh at all, Miss Laura? 

Ladra. Idon't know yet, Annie. I don't 
even know what the place is like that we're 
going to. Mr. Madison has n't said much. 
There has n't been time. 

Annie. Why, Ah've done ma best tor 
yuh. Miss Laura, yes, Ah have. Ah jest 



been with yuh ev'ry moment of ma time, 
an' [places suitcase on table h., crosses to c] 
Ah worked for yuh an' Ah loved yuh, an' 
Ah doan' wan' to be left 'ere all alone in 
dis town 'ere New York. [Lauba turns to 
door L, Annie stoops, grabs up ribbon c, 
hides behind her back.] Ah ain't the kind of 
cullud lady knows many people. Can't yuh 
take me along wid yuh. Miss Laura? — 
yuh all been &o good to me 

Laura. W h> , I told you to [crosses to 
door L., looks out, returns duappotnledty] 
stay here and get your thmga together 
[Annie Aides rtbbon in front of her uaisi], 
and then Mr Brockton will probablj want 
you to do somethmg Later I think he'll 
have you pack up just as soon as he finds 
I'm gone. I've got the address that you 
gave me. I'll let you know if you can 

Annie [suddenly]. Ain't yuh goin' to give 
me anything at all jes' to remembuh yuh 
by? Ah've been so honest ^ 

Laura. Honest ? 

Annie. Honest, Ah have. 

Laura. You've been about as honest as 
most colored [crosses r. to table, gets suit- 
case, crosses l. to sofa, puts suitcase on sofa] 
girls are who work for women in the po- 
sition that I am in. You have n't stolen 
enough to make me discharge you, but I've 
seen what you've taken. 

[i5i(s on B. end of sofa facing l.J 

Annie, Now, Miss Laura. 

Laura. Don't try to fool me. What 
you've got you're welcome to, but for 
Heaven's sake don't prate around here 
about loyalty and honesty. I'm sick of it. 

Annie. Ain't yuh goin' to give me no 
recommendation ? 

IjHTRa [impalienlly looking around the 
room]. What good would my recommenda- 
tion do? You can always go and get an- 
other position with people who've lived the 
way I've lived, and my recommendation 
to the other kind would n't amount to 

Annie [aits on trunk c.j. Ah can just see 
whah Ah'm goin', —back to dat boa'din'- 
house in 38th Street fo' me. [Crying.] 

Laura. Now shut your noise, I don't 
want to hear any more. I've given you 



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twenty-five dollars for a present. I think 
that's enough. 

[Annie assumes a most aggrieved 
appearance.] 
Annie. Ah know, but twenty-five dol- 
lara ain't a home, and I'm [rises, crossing up 
fo rubHuk heap up r., picks -up old slippers 
and hat, puts hat on bead as she goes out, 
looks into pier-glass] iosia' my honie. Dat's 
jest my luek — every time I save enough 
money to buy my weddia' clothes to get 
married I lose my job. [Exit -up r.] 

Laura. I wonder where John is. We'll 
never be able to make that train. |Ladra 
crosses to mndou) l., then to desk, takes out 
time-tabte, crosses to armchair and spreads 
time-table on back, studies it, crosses impa- 
tiently to trunk c, and stis nervously kicking 
feet. After a few seconds' pause, bell rings. 
She jumps up exciledly.] "That must be he, 
Annie — go quick. 

IAnnie croerns and opens the door 
in the usual manner.] 
Jiu'8VoicE[(iu(KMfe|.IsMisaMurdockin? 
Annie. Yasauh, she's in. 

[Laura is up c, stage and turns to 
receive iiisitor, Jim enters. He is 
nicely dressed in black and has 
an appearance of prosperity 
aboiit kim, but in other respects 
fte retains the old drollness of 
enunciation and manner. He 
crosses to Laura in a cordial 
way and holds out his hand. 
Annie crosses, after closing the 
door, and exit through the portiires 
into the sleeping-apartment.] 
Jim. How-dy-do, Miss Laura? 
Laura. Jim Weston, I'm mighty glad 

Jim. Looks Uke as if you were going to 

Laura. Yes, I am going to move, and 
a longways, too. How well you're looking, 
— as fit as a fiddle. 

Jim. Yes; I am feelin' fine. Where yer 
goin'? Troupin'7 

Laura. No, indeed. 

Jim [sarveying the baggage]. Thought not. 
What's comin' off now? 

[Takes off coat, puts coat and hat 
on trunk l,] 



Laura [very simply]. I'm going to be 
married this afternoon. 

Jim. Married? 

Laura. And then I'm going West. 

Jim [leaving the trunk and walking toward 
her and holding out his hands]. Now I'm 
just glad to hear that. Ye know when I 
heard how — how things was breakin' tor 
ye — well, I ain't loiockin' or anythin' like 
tiat, but me and the missis have talked ye 
over a lot. I never did think this teller was 
goin' to do the right thing by yer. Brock- 
ton never looked to me like a fellow would 
marry anybody, but now that he's goin' 
through just to make you a nice respect- 
able wife, I guess everything must have 
happened for the best. [Laura averts her 
eyes. Both sU on trunk c, Jim l. of Laura.] 
Y* see I wanted to thank you tor what you 
did a couple of weeks ago. Burgess wrote 
me a letter and told me 1 could go ahead 
of one of his big shows if I wanted to come 
back, and offering me considerable money. 
He mentioned your name, Miss Laura, and 
I talked it over with the missis, and — 
well, 1 can tell ye now when I could n't 
if ye were n't to be hooked up — we de- 
cided that I would n't take that job, 
comm' as it did from you [slowly] and the 
way 1 knew it was framed up. 

Laura. Why not? 

Jim [embarrassed]. Well, ye see, there 
are three kids and they're all growing up, 
all of UiEim in school, and the missis, she's 
just about forgot show business and she's 
playing a star part in the kitchen, juggling 
dishes and doing flip-flaps with pancakes; 
and we iiggered that as we'd always gone 
along kinder clean-like, it would n't be 
good for the kids to take a job comin' from 
Brockton because you — you — well — 

Laura. 1 know. [Rises, sits on. l. arm of 
chair B. c] You thought it was n't decent. 
Is that it? 

Jim. Oh, not exactly, only — well, you 
see I'm gettin' along pretty [rises, crosses 
to Laura] good now. I got a little one- 
night stand theatre out in Ohio — manager 
of it, too. The town is called Gallipolis 
[with a smile]. 

Laura. Gallipolis? 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Jim. Oh, that ain't a disease. It is 
name of a town. Maybe you doa't know 
mucli about GaJlipolis, or where it is. 

Lauba. No. 

Jim, Well, it loolcs just like it sounds. 
We got a little house, and the old lady is 
happy, and I feel so good that I can even 
Stand her cookin'. Of course we ain't 
makiii' much money, but I guess I 'm get- 
tin' a little old-fashioned around theatres 
anyway. The fellows from newspapers . 
colleges have got it on me. Last time I 
asked a man for a job he asked me what I 
knew about the Greek drama and when 
I told him I did n't know the Greeks had 
a theatre in New York he slipped me a 
laugh and told mc to come in agam on 
some rainy Tuesday. Then Gallipobs 
showed on the map, and I beat it for the 
West. IJiM notices by this time the pain he 
has ea'used Laura, and is embarrassed.] 
Sorry it I hurt ye — did n't mean to; and 
now that yer goin' to be Mrs. Brockton, 
well, I take back all 1 said, and while I 
don't think I want to change my position, 
I would n't turn it down for — for that 
other reason, that's all. 

Lattra [with a tone of defiance in her 
voiix]. But, Mr. Weston, I'm not going to 
be Mrs, Brockton. 

Jim. No? [Crosses l. a tittk.] 

Laura. No. 

Jim. Oh ^ oh — 

Latjsa. I'm going to many another 
man, and a good man. 

Jim. The hell you are ! 

[Ladra rises, puis hand on Jiu'b 
shovider.] 

Laura. And it 's going to be altogether 
different. I know what you meant when 
you said about the missis and the kids, and 
that's what I want — just a little home, 
just a little peace, just a httle oomfort. and 
— and the man has come who's going to 
give it to me. You don't want me to say 
any more, do you? 

[Crosses to l, door, opens it, and 

Jim [emphaiicaUy, and vHtk a tone of 
hearty approval]. No, I don't, and now 
I'm just going to put my mit out and shake 



yours and be real glad. I want to tell ye 
it's the only way to go along. I ain't never 
been a rival to Rockefeller, nor I ain't 
never made Moi^an jealous, but since the 
day my old woman took her make-up off 
for the last time and walked out of that 
stage door to give me a little help and bring 
my kids into the world, I knew that was 
the way to go along; and if you're goin' to 
take that road, by Jiminy, I'm glad of it, 
tor you sure do deserve it. I wish yer luck. 

Laura, Thank you. 

Jim. I'm mighty glad you sidestepped 
Brockton You're young [Laura sits on 
trunk I.] and you're pretty, and you're 
•iv. eet, and if you 've got the right kind of a 
feller there ain't no reason on earth why 
J on shouldn't jest forgit the whole busi- 
ness and see nothin' but laughs and a good 
time comin' to you, and the sun sort o' 
shinin' every twenty-four hours in the day. 
You know the missis feels just as if she 
knew you, after I told her about them hard 
times we had at Farley^s boarding-house, 
so I feel that it's paid me to come to New 
York [picks up pin, puts it in lapel of coat] 
even it I did n't book anything but "East 
Lynne" and "Uncle Tom's Cabin." [Goe» 
over to her.] Now I'm goin'. Don't forget 
Gallipolis 's [Laura, helps him on with his 
coat] the name, and sometimes the mail 
does get there, I'd be awful glad if you 
wrote the missis a little note tellin' us how 
you're gettin' along, and if you ever have 
to ride on the Kanawha and Michigan just 
look out of the window when the train 
passes our town, because that is about the 
best you'll get. 

Laura. Why? 

Jim, They only stop there on signal. 
And make up your mind that the Weaton 
family is with you forty ways from the 
Jack day and night. Gijod-bye, and God 
bless you. 

Laura, Good-bye, Jim. I'm so glad to 
know you're happy, for it is good to be 
happy. [Kisses him.] 

Jim. You bet. [Moves toward the door. 
She follows him after they have shaken handji.] 
Never mind, I can get out all right. [Opens 
the door, and at the door:] Good-bye again. 

Laura [very softly]. Good-bye. [Exit 



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Jim and ctoses Ihe door. She stands mot 
less until she hears the outer door dam.] I 
wonder why he does n't come. [She goes up 
and looks out of the window and turns d 
stage, crosses n., countittg trunks; as 
counU suitcase on tcAle, bell rings; she era 
kuniediy to trunk c] Hurry, Annie, and 
Bee who that is. 



Annie's Voice. She's waitin' for yer, 
Mr. Madison. 

ILaura hurries down to the c. of 

stage. John enters, hat in hand 

and kis overcoat on arm, followed 

hy Annie He stops just as he 

enters and looks at Laura long 

and searchingly Lahka tn 

stinetively feds that something 

has happened Afte shuddera and 

remains firm Annie crosses and 

exit. Closes doors r ] 

Lapha [wUh a littlt. effirt John places 

hat and coat on trunk lJ Arent \ou a 

little late, dear? 

John, I — 1 was detained downtown a 
few minutes I think that we can carry 
out our plan alt nght 

Laitha [after a pause] Has anything 
happened? 

John. I'le made all the arrai^ementa. 
The men will be here in a l^vi minutes tor 
your trunks. {Crosses to coat, feels in pocket.} 
I've got the railroad tickets and every- 
thing else, but — 
Ladka. But what, John? 

[He goes over to her. She intuitively 
understands that she is about to 
go through an ordeai. She seems 
to feel that John has heco?ne ac- 
quainted vHUi something which 
might interfere viitk their plan. 
He looks at her Jong and search- 
ingly. Ei^dertdy he too is much 
wrought up, but when he speaks 
to her it is with a calm dignity 
and force which show the char- 
acter of the tnan.] 
John. Laura. 
IiATTRA. Yes? 
John, You know when I went down- 



town I said I was going to call on two or 
three of my friends in Park Row. 

Laura. I know. 

JoE.K. 1 told them who I was going to 

Laura. Well? 

John. They said something about you 
and Brockton, and I found that they'd 
said too much, but not quite enough. 

Laura. What did they say? 

John. Just that — too much and not 
quite enough. There's a minister waiting 
for us over on Madison Avenue. You see, 
then you'll be my wife. That's pretty seri- 
ous business, and all I want now from you 
is the truth. 

Lauka Well' 

John Just tell me that nhat the> said 
was just an echo of the past — that it came 
from what had been going on before that 
wonderful da\ out in Colorado Tell me 
th it 3 ou 1 e been on the level I don't 
want tiieir word Laura — I just want 



[Laura summons all her courage 
looks up into his loving cyti 
shrinks a moment before hTt 

Laura, Yes John I have been on the 

John [very tenderly]. I knew that, dear, 
I knew it. iHe lakes her in his arms and 
Hsses her. She clings to him in pUifid help- 
lessness. His manrter is changed to one of 
almost boyish happiness.] Well, now every- 
thing's all ready let's get on the job. We 
have n't a great deal of time. Get your 

Lauba. When do we go? 
John. Right away. The great idea is to 
get away. 
Lauba. AH right. 

[Gets hat off trunk, crosses to bxt- 

John. Laura, you've got trunks enough, 
haven't you? One might think we're 
moving a whole colony. [Turns to her with 
a smite.] And, by the way, to me you are a 
whole colony ^ anyway you're the only 
one I ever wanted to settle with, 

Laura. That's good. [Takes bag off 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



btireau, crosses to trunk, gets purse, coal, um- 
brella, as if ready to leave. She hurriedly 
gathers her things lagether, adjusting her hat 
and the like, and almost io herself in, a law 
ione:] I'm ao excited. [Continues prepara- 
motis.] Gome on. 

[7fi the meanlinie John crosses by 
to get his hat and coat, andwhile 
the pTeparations are cAoiU to be 
awifdeted and IjAURA has said 
"Come on," she is transjvied by 
the noise of the slamming of the 
outer door. She stops as if she 
had been tremendously shocked, 
and a inoment later the rattling 
of a latch-key in the inner door 
also stops John from going any 
further. His coat is half on. 
Lauba looks toward the door, 
paralyzed with fright, and John 
looks at her with an expression of 
great apprehension. Slowly the 
door opens, and Brockton en- 
ters vnlh coat and hat on. As he 
turns to dose the door after him, 
LAnaA, pitifully and terribly 
afraid, retreats two or three steps, 
and lays coat, bag, purse and um- 
brella down in armchaii, stand- 
ing dazed. Beockton enters 
leisurely, paying no alfentron to 
anyone, white John becomes as 
rigid as a statue, and foUowi 
with his eyes every move Brock- 
ton Tnakes. The latter walks 
leisurely across the stage, and 
afterwards itUo the rooms through 
the pm-tibres. There is a wait of a 
second. No one moves. Brock- 
ton finally reenters wUk coat 
and hot off, and throws back the 
portibres in such a manner as to 
reveal the bed and his intimate 
fanaUarity with the outer room. 
He goes down stage in the same 
leisurely manner and sits in a 
cftoir r., opposite John, crossing 
his legs.] 
Will. Hello, Madison, when did you 



:tin7 



[Slowly John seems to recover hint' 
self. His right hand starts up 



ttmio/rd the lapel of his coat and 
slowly he pulls his Colt revolver 
from the holster under his m mpiL 
There is a deadly determination 
and deliberation in every move- 
Tnenl that he makes. Win. jumps 
to his feet and looks at him. The 
levolver is uplifted in the air, as 
a Western man handles a gun, so 
that when it is snapped down 
with a jerk the deadly shot can be 
fired. Laura is terror-stricken, 
but before the shot is fired she 
takes a step forward and ex- 
tends one hand in a gesiwe of 
entreaty.] 
LAtTRA [in a husky voice that is almost a 
whisper]. Don't shoot. 

[The gun remains uplifted for a mo- 
ment. John is evidently waner- 
ing in his detervnination to kill. 
Slowly his whole frame relaxes. 
He lowers the pistol in his hand 
in a manner which clearly indi- 
cates that he is not going to shoot. 
He quielly puts it back in the 
ftotsier, ami Will is obviously 
relieved, (dthough he stood his 
ground like a man.] 
John [slowly], Tliank you. You said 
that Just in time. [A pause.] 

Will [recovering and in a light tone]. 
Well, you see, Madison, tJiat what 1 said 
when I was — 

John [threateningly]. Look out, Brock- 
ton, I don't want to talk to you. 

[The men confront.] 
Win* AUriRht. 

John [to Laura]. Now get that man out 
of here. 

Laura, John, I ^— 

John. Get him out. Get him out before 
I lose my temper or they'll take him out 
without his heip. 

Laura [to Wiu.]. Go — go. Please go. 
Wthh [deliberately]. If that's the way you 
want it I'm willing. 

[Exit Will into the sleeping-apart- 
ment. Laura and John stand 
facing each other. He enters 
again with hat and coat on ana 
passes over toward the door. 



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THE EASIEST WAY 



223 



Laus4 and John do not move. 

When he gets Just a little to the l. 

of the c. of the stage Laura steps 

/"' forward and stops him ivith her 

•^ speech.] 

Lauba. Now before you go, and to you 
both, I want to tell you how I've learned to 
despise him. John, 1 know you doa't be- 
lieve me, but it's true — it's true. I don't 
love anyone in the world but just you. 1 
know you don't think that it can be ex- 
plained — maybe there ia n't any expla- 
nation. 1 could n't help it. I was so poor, 
and I had to live, and he would n't let me 
work, and he's only let me live one way, 
and 1 was hungry. Do you know what that 
means? I was hungry and did n't have 
clothes to keep me warm, and I tried, oh, 
'^, John, I tried so hard to do the other thing, 
■ — the right thing, — but I could n't. 

John. I - — 1 know I could n't help much, 
and perhaps I could have forgiven you if 
you had n't lied to me. That's what hurt. 
[Turning to Wili. and approaching until he 
can look kim in the eyes.] 1 expected you to 
lie, you're that kind of a man. You left me 
with a shake of the hand and you gave me 
your word, and you did n't keep it. Why 
should you keep it? Why should anything 
make any difference with you? Why, you 
pup, you've no right to live in the same 
world with decent folks. Now you make 
yourself scarce, or take it from me, I'll just 
kill you, that's all. 

WiLu I'll leave, Madison, but I'm not 
going to let you think that I did n't do the 
right thing with you. She came to me vol- 
untarily. She said she wanted to come 
back. I told you that when I was in Colo- 
rado, and you did n't believe me, and I 
told you that when she did this sort of 
thing I'd let you know. I dictated a letter 
to her to send to you, and 1 left it sealed 
and stamped in her hands to mail. She 
did n't do it. If there's been a lie she told 
it. I did n't. 

[John turns to her. She hangs her 
head and averts her e^es in a 
mute aeknowledgment of guilt. 
The revelalum hits John so hard 
that he sinks on the trunk c, his 
head fallen to his hreast. He is 



utterly limp and whipped. There 
is a momerd's silence.] 
Will [crosses (0 John). You see! Why, 
niy boy, whatever you think of me or the 
life I lead, I would n't have had this come 
to you for anything in the world. [John 
makes an imjxdientgestwe.] No, I wouldn't. 
My women don't mean a whole lot to me 
because 1 don't take them seriously. I wish 
I had the faith and the youth to feel the 
way you do. You're al! in and broken up, 
but I ^vish I could be broken up just once. 
I did what I thought was be'it for you be- 
cause I did n't think she could ever go 
through the v-iy ^ou wanted her to. I'm 
sorry it's all turned out bad. [Pa-use.] 
Good-bye. 

[He looki III John for a moment aa 
if he V as going to speak. John 
remains motion If ss. The blotn 
has hit him harder than he 
thought. Will exit. The first 
door closes. In a moment the 
second door is slam/med. John 
aTHi Latiba look at each other 
for a moment. He gives her no 
chance to speak. The hurt in his 
heart and his accusation are 
shown by his broken manner. A 
great grief has come into his life 
and he does n't quite understand 
it. He seems to be feeling around 
for something to say, some way la 
get ouL Hie head turns toward 
the door. With a jnttful gesture 
of the hand he looks at her in ali 






w.] 



John. Well? [Rises.', 

Laura. John, I — 

[Takes o$ hat, places it on table r.) 

John. I'd be careful what 1 said. Don't 
try to make excuses. I understand. 

Laura. It's not excuses. I want to teli 
you what's in my heart, but I can't; it 
won't- epeak, and you don't believe my 

John. You'd better leave it unsaid. 

Laoha. But I must tell. I can't let you 
go like this. [She goes over to him and makes 
a weak attempt to put her arms around him. 
He takes her arms and puts them back to her 
side.] 1 love you, I — how can I tell you 



.oogle 



CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



— but I do, 1 do, and you won't believe 

IHe remains siknt for a momenl 
and then takes her by the hand, 
kadi her over to (he chair and 
places her in, it.] 

John. I think you do as tar as you are 
able; but, Laura, I guess you don't know 
what a decent sentiment is. [He gathers 
himself together. His tone is very gentle and 
very firm, but it carries a tremendous convic- 
tion, even with hia grief ringing through his 
tpeeeh.l Lavira, you'renot immoral, you're 
just unmoral, kind o' all out of shape, and 
I 'm afraid there is n't a particle of hope for 
you. When we met neither of us had any 
reason to be proud, but I thought tliat you 
thought that it was the chance of salvation 
which sometimes comes to a man and a 
woman fixed as we were then. What had 
been had been. It was al! in the great to-be 
for us, and now, how you've kept your 
word J What little that promise meant, 
when I thought you handed me a new lease 
ofhfel 

Lapha [in, a voice that is changed and 
metaUic. She is literally being nailed to the 
cross!. You're killing me — killing me. 

John'. Don't make such a mistake. In a 
month you'll recover. There will be days 
when you will think of me, just for a mo- 
ment, and then it will be all over. With 
you it is the easy way, and it always will be. 
You'll go oa and on until you're finally 
left a wreck, just the type of the common 
woman. AndyoullsinbuntJlyou'redownto 
the very bed-rock of depravity. I pity you. 

Laura [stUl in the same metailic tone of 
voice]. Youll never leave me to do that. 
I'll kill myself. 

John. Perhaps that's the only thing left 
for you to do, but you'll not do it. It's 

[Crosses and gets hat and coat, 

turns, looks at her, Lauha rising 

at the same time.] 

Lattra. John, I said I'd kill myself, and 

I mean it. If it's the only thing to do, I'll 

do it, and I'll do it before your very eyes. 

{She crosses quickly, gete keys out of satchel, 

opens trunk, takes gun out of trunk c, stands 

C, facing John, wailing a momenL] You 



understand that when your hand touches 
that door I'm goingtoshoot myself. Iwill, 
so help me God ! 

John [stops and looks at her]. Kill your- 
self? IPame.] Before me? IPatise.] AU 
right. [Raising his voice.] Annie, Annie 1 

Annie [enters up k.J. Yes, sir. 

John [Laura looks at John in bewilder- 
ment]. You see your mistress there has a 
pistol in her hand? 

Asms,[crosaesdovm ft., frightened]. Yaa- 

John. She wants to kiU herself. I just 
called you to witness that the act is en- 
tirely voluntary on her part. Now, Laura, 
go ahead. 

Laura [nearly collapsing, drops the pistol 
to the fioor], John, I — can't — 

John. Annie, she's evidently changed 
her mind. You may go. 

Annie. But, Miss Laura, Ah — 

John [peremptorily]. You may go. [Be- 
wildered and not understanding, Annie exit 
through the portiires. In that same gentle 
tone, 6trf carrying with it an almost frigid 
amviclion.] You did n't have the nerve- I 
knew you would n't. For a moment you 
thought the only decent thii^ for you to do 
was to die, and yet you could n't go through. 
I am sorry for you, — more sorry than I 
can tell. {He takes a step towards the door.] 

Laura. You'regoing — you'regoing? 

John. Yes. 

Laura. And — and — you never thought 
that perhaps I'm frail, and weak, and a 
woman, and that now, maybe, I need your 
strength, and you might give it to me, and 
it might be better. I want to lean on you, 
— lean on you, John, I know I need some- 
one. Are n't you going to let me? Won't 
you give me another chance? 

John. I gave you your chance, Laura. 

Laura [throws arms around his nedc]. 
Give me another. 

John. But you leaned the wrong way. 
Good-bye. [He pidls away and goes oiri l., 
slamming both doors,] 

Lauba [ncreaming]. John — John — 1 — 
[She sits on trunk l. weeping in loiid and 
tearful manner, rises in a dazed fashion, 
starts to cross R., sees gun, utters loud cry of 
mingled despair and anger, grabs up ffun, 



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THE EASIEST WAY 



225 



5 bureau, opens upstage drawer, 
UiTowB gun in, sloms drawer shut, catling:] 
Annie I Annie ! 

Annie [appears through the portikreB]. 
Ain't yuh goin' away, Miss I-aura? 

Laura [euddenly arousing herself, and 
vritk a defiant voice]. No, I'm not. I'm 
going to stay right here. (Annie crosses and 
opens trunk l., lakes ovt handsome dress, 
crosses, hangs it over back of armchair b. c, 
crosses up to hat trunk, lakes out hat. Laura 
lakes it from her, crosses to trunk u, starts to 
unpack it.] Open these tiunks, take out 
those clothes, get me my prettiest dress. 
Hurry up. [She goes before the mirror.] Get 
my new hat, dress up my body and paint 
up my face. It's all they've left of me. 
\To herself.] They've taken my soul away 
with them. 

Annie [in a happy voice]. Yassum, yas- 

Lauba [who is arranging her hair]. Doll 
me up, Annie. 

Annie. Yuh goin' out. Miss Laura? 
Laura. Yes. I'm going to Rector's to 
make s, hit, and to hell with the rest. 

[At this moment the hurdy-gurdy in 
the street, presumahty immedi- 
ately -under her mndow, begins 
to play the tune of " Bon- Bon 
Buddie, My Chocolate Drop." 
There is something in this rag- 
time melody which is particularly 
and pecidiarly suggestive of the 



law life, the criminality and pros- 
titution that constitute IM night 
excitement of that section of New 
York City known as the Tender' 
loin. The tune, its association, is 
like spreading before Laura's 
eyes a panorama of the inevitable 
depraxity that awaits her. She ia 
tirrn from ercry ideal that she so 
weakly endeavored to grasp, and 
is thrown into the mire and slime 
at the very moment when her 
emancipation seems to be as- 
sured The woman, with her 
floshy dress tn one arm and her 
equally exaggerated type of pic- 
ture hat m the other, is nearly 
prostrated by (he tune and the 
nalizalion of the future as it is 
terrifically conveyed to her. The 
negress m the happiness of 
seriing Laura m her ^ueeUan- 
cAle career, picKi up the melody 
and hums it as ihe unpacks the 
finery that has been put away in 
the trunk.] 
Lauha [with infinite grief, resignation, and 
hopelessness]. God — my God. 

[She turns and totters toward the 
bedroom. The hurdy-gurdy con- 
tinues, with the negress accom- 
panying it.] 



c by Google 



cb, Google 



THE PIPER 

A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS 

By JOSEPHINE PRESTON PEABODY 



cb, Google 



t should be lakea that Ik 



mini with Mr. Fm 



c by Google 



ANNO 1284 

AM DAGE JOHANNIS ET PAULI 

WAR DER 26 JUMI 

:h einen piper MIT ALLERLEV FARVE BEKLEDET 

gewesen cxxx kinder verledet 

BINNEN HAMELEN GEBOREN 
TO CALVARIE BI DEN KOPPEN VERLOREN 

[the HAMELIN INSCRIPTION] 



c by Google 



cb, Google 



CHARACTERS 

The Piper 

m i ch abl-the-s word-e ate r 

Che at-the-De vil 

Jacobub the Burgomeisler 

KuKT the Syndic 

Peter Ike Cobbler 

Hans the BtUcher 

Axel Ike Smilk 

Martin the Watch 

Pbteh the Sacristan 

Anselm, a young priest 

Old Claus, a miser 

Town Crier 

Jan 

Hansel 

Ilsb Children 

TSODE 

Rum 

Veronika, the wife of Kurt 
Barbara, daughter of Jacobus 
Wife OP Hans th^ Butcher 
Wife of Axel the Smith 
Wife or Martin the Watch 
Old Ursula 

Burghers, nuns, priests, and ckildTen 

Scene: Hamelin on the Wbsbr, 1284 a.d. 



cb, Google 



SCENES 



ACT I. 


The market-place in Hamelin 


ACT II, j 


1 Scene I. Inside the " Hollaw HiW 


I Scene II. The Cross^ways 


ACT III. 


The Cross-ways 


ACT IV. 


The marhet-phee in Hamelin 


Ons wee, 


i is supposed to elapse betuieen Acta I and II 


Ads II 


and III occupy one day 


Act IV . 


:oncerns the fotlowina mormng 



cb, Google 



THE PIPER 



Scene: The market-place of Hamelin. 
Right, the Minster, vdUi an open shrine 
(Tight centre) containing a large aciUplured 
Jigure of the Christ. Right, farther front, the 
house of Kukt; and other tMirrcrui house- 
fronts. Left, Ike Rathaus, and (doum) the 
fiomeo/ Jacobus. Front, to Inland right, are 
comer-houses tvith projecting storiea and 
casement windows. At the centre Tear, a nar- 
row street leads away between houses whose 
ffables all tntl meet overhead. 

It is laie summer afternoon, with a holiday 
crowd. In the open casements, front (right 
and left, opposite each other), sit Old UsawLA 
artd Old Glaus, looking on at men and 
things. — In the centre of the place now 
Stands a rude wooden Ark vnth a tented top: 
and out of the openings (right and left) appear 
the artificial heads of animtds, loom by the 
players inside. One is a Bear (iTihabited 
by Michabl-the-Swobd-Eatbr); one is a 
large Reynard-Che-Fox, later apparent as the 
Piper. Close by is the medimval piece of 
stage-property known as " HeUrMoulh," i.e. 
a red painted cave with a jau>-like opening, 
into which a mountebank dressed in scarlet 
(Chbat-the-Devil) is poking "Lost SoiUs" 
with a pitchfork. 

Barbara loiters by (Ae tent. Vebonika, 
Ike sad young unfe of Kurt, vmtches from the 
house steps, left, keeping her lifde lame boy, 
Jan, dose beside her. 

Shouts of delight greet the end of Ike show, 
— a NoeA's Ark mirade-play of the rudest; 
and the Children continue to scream with joy 
■whenever an Animal looks out of the Ark. 

Men and women pay scani atteviion eitker 
to Jacobus, wAen he speaks (himself none 
loo sober) — from his doorstep, prompted by 
the frowning Kurt, — or yet to Ansblm, the 
priest, who stands forth with lifted hands, at 
(he close of the miracle-jiay. 



Ansblm, And you, who heed the colors 

of this sbow, 

Look 1 o your laughter ! — It doth body forth 

A Judgment that may take you unaware, — 

Sun-struck with mirth, like unto chattering 

leaves 
Some wind of wrath shall scourge to noth- 
ingness. 
Hans, Axel, and Others. Hurrah, 

Hurrah! 
Jacobus. And now, good townsmen ail. 
Seeing we stand delivered and secure 
As oacie yon chosen creatures of the Ark, 
For a simUitude, — our famine gone. 
Our plague of rats and mice, — 

Crowd. Hurrah — hurrah! 

Jacobus, 'T is meet we render thanks 

Hans the Butcher. Soberly, soberly, 

Jacobus. For our deliverance. 
And now, ye wit, It will be full three days 
Since we beheld — our late departed 

Old Ursula {putting out an ear-trumpet]. 

What does he say? 
Reynard [from the Ark]. — Oh, how 

felicitous ! 
Hans' Wife. He's only saying there be 



[Resuming.] And now . . . 
Crowd. Long live Jacobus! — 
Jacobus. You have seen 

Noah and the Ark, most aptiy happening 

by 
With these same play-folk. You have 
marked the Judgment. 



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You all have seen the lost souls sent to — 

HeU — 
And, nothing more to do, — 
[KvKT prompts Mm.] Yes, yes. — And 

[Hans the Butcher steps ov,t of kis 
group.] 
Hans the Butcher. Hath no man seen the 

Piper? — Please your worships, 
Oteebs. Ay, ay, so! 

— Ay, where is he? 

— Ho, the Piper I 
Jacobus. Piper, my good man? 
Hans the Butcher. — He that charmed 



then 



Others. Yea, yes, — that cliarmed the 

Jacobus [piously]. Why, no man knows. 
Which proves him such a random tnstru- 

As Heaven doth sometimes send us, to oar 



Or, as I do conceive, no man at ali, — 
A man of air; or, I would say — delusion. 
He'll come no more. 

RErnABD {from the Ark]. Eh? — Oh, in- 
deed, Meaow! 
Jacobos. 'T is clearest providence. The 
rats are gone. 
The man is gone. And there is nought to 

pay. 
Save peaceful worship. 

[Pointing U> the Minuter ] 
Rbtnard [sarcastieallii] Oh, mdeed, — 
Meaow! 

[Sudden chorus of derisive ammal 
noises from the 4.Tk, dehghlmg 
People and CBiLDBEh | 
Kdbt. Silence, — you strollers there I 
Or I will have you 
Gaoled, one and all. 

People. No, Kurt the Syndic, no! 

Bahbara 1(0 JacobubJ. No, no I Ah, 

father, bid them stay awhile 

And play it all again, — Or, if not all. 

Do let us see that same good youth again, 

Who swallowed swords — between the 

Ark Preserved 
And the Last Judgment! 

Reynabd. IVIichael-the-Sword-Eater, 
Laurels for thee ! 

[The Beab disappears: Michael 



puts out hia own head, and gazes 
fixedly at Barbara.] 
Children. Oh, can't we see the animals 
in the Ark? 
Again? Oh, can't we see it all again? 
Ilse. Oh, leave out Noah! And let's 
have only Bears 
And Dromedaries, and the other ones ! — 
[General amfusion.] 
Kdbt. Silence! 

Jacobus. Good people — you have had 
your shows; 
And it is meet, that having held due feast. 
Both with our market and this Miracle, 
We bring our holiday to close with prayer 
And public thanks unto Saint Wiliifaald, — 
Upon whose day the rats departed thence. 
Reynard [hiidly]. Saint Willibald! 
Beab. — Saint Willibald! 

Otheb Animals [looking out]. Saint 

Willibald! Saint! Oh! 
Gbowd. Saint Willibald! — And what 
had he to do 
With ridding us o' rats? 
Hans the Butcher. 'Tv/es the Piping 
Man 
Who came and stood here in the market- 
place. 
And swore to do it for one thousand 

Peteb the Cobbler. Ay, and he did it, 
too ! — Saint WilUbald! 

[Renewed uproar round the tent.] 
Kurt [to Jacobus]. Drive out those 
mountebanks! 'T is ever so. 
Admit them to the town and you must 

pay 

Their single show with riotings a week, — 
Look yonder at your daughter. 

[Barbara lingers by the Ark-Tent, 
gazing with girlish interest at 
Michael, loho gates at her, his 
bear-head in hia hand for the 
numient.] 
Jacobus. Barbaral 

[She turns back, with an angry 
glance at Kokt.] 
Axel the Smith [doggedly to them]. By 
your leave. Masters! I would like 
to know, 
How did Saint WiUibald prevail with tio 
ratfl? — 



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That would I like to know. I, who ha' made 
Of strong wrought traps, two hundred, 

Two hundred, thirty-nine. 
Reynard [caUing]. And so would I ! 
Hans the Btttcher. So pleaae your wor- 
ships, may it please the Crier, 
Now we be here, — to cry the Piping Man — 
Peter the Cobbkr. A stranger-man, gay- 
clad, — in divers colors ! 
Because he, with said piping — 

Hans the Butcher. — Drave away 

The horde of rats I 
Peteb the Cobbler [safety]. 

To our great benefit; 
And we be all just men. 
Others. Ay, ay ! — Amen ! 

Women. Amen, Our Lady and the 

blessed Saints ! 
Jacobus. Why, faith, good souls, if ye 
will have him cried. 
So be it. — But the ways of Heaven are 

strange 1 
Mark how our angel of deliverance came, — 
Or it may be. Saint Wiliibald himself, — 
Most piedly clothed, even as the vilest 

player! — 
And straight ascended from us, to the 

clouds ! 
But cry him, if you will. — Peace t« your 

He will not come. 

[KtTRT ivralhfuUy consults with 

Jacobus, then signals to Crwr.] 

Cmer. Dyez I Oyez ! 03^z ! 

Whereas, now three days gone, our Plague 

of Rata 
Was wholly driven hence, our City cleansed. 
Our peace restored after sore threat of 

By a Strange Man who came not ba«k 

Now, therefore, if this Man have ears to 

tet him stand forth. — Oyez ! Oyez I Oyez ! 
[Trumpet. — People gaze up and 
down the little etTeets. — Rey- 
nard steps out of the Ark and 
comes dovirt slowly, with a modest 
air. — Kotot points him out, 
ihreateniTigly, and ike Crowd 
Imrais into derisive laughter. — 



I'lPER 235 

He doffs his animal-head at lei- 
sure, showing a sparkling dark- 
eyed face,] 

All. The Man! the Man! 

Kurt and Jacobus. The Devi!! — 

All. —The Piper! 

[The Piper regards them alt with 
debonair sati^actUm; Oien re- 
verses his head-piece and holds it 
out upside-down, with a am- 
fident smife.l 
Piper. Three days of rest, your worships, 
you have had. 
I see no signs of famine hereabout. 
The rats are gone, even to the nethermost 

tail: 
Andl'vefulfiUedmybaigam. Is it granted? 
[Murmurs, then cheers of "Ay, Ay, 
Piper!" from the crowd.] 
Thank'ec. — My thousand guilders, an you 

Jacobus. One thou — Come, come I 
This was no sober bargain. — 
No man in reason could — 

Piper. One thousand guilders, 

Kurt. One thoiisand rogueries ! 

Jacobus [to Piper]. You jest too far. 

Axel. Lucky, if he get aught! — Two 
hundred traps, 
And nine, and thirty! By Saint Willibald, 
When was I paid? 

Axel's Wipe. Say, now! 

PiPEB. , , . One thousand guilders. 

Petek Ihe Cobbkr. Give him an hundred. 

Hans the Butcher. Double ! 

Hans' Wife. You were fool 

To make agreement with him. — Ask old 

Claus. 
He has the guilders; and his house was full 
O'rats! 

Old Claus [shaking his stick from the win- 
dow]. You jade I And I that board. 

And lay by all I have from year to year, 
To build lay monument when I aai gone, 
A fine new tomb tKere ,_in Saint Boniface! 
And I to pay for all your city ratal 

Old Ursula [leaning out, opposite]. 

Right, neighbor, right well said! — 

Piper, hark here. 
Piper, how »iid ye cbsOB the rata away? 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Pipes [coming down]. The rats were led — 

by Cu-ri-os-ity. 
'T IB so with many rats; and all old wo- 

Saving your health ! 

Jacobus. No thought for public weal, 
In this base grasping on — 

Piper. One thousand guilders. 

KviiT [contemptuoxisly]. For piping! 
Piper, Shall I pipe them back again? 
WOMEK. 

fGood Saint Boniface! 

I Good Saint Wiilibaid! 

I Peter and Paul defend 



Merciful heaven ! f 



SjiH8lfieBukher. No, no;nofearo' that. 
The rats be drowned. 
We saw them with our eyes. 

Piper. Now who shall say 

There is no resurrection for a mouse ? 

Kurt. — Do you but crop this fellow's 

Vbronika \from the steps]. Ah^jirt! 
J ACOBVS [to kirn, bkmdly]. Deal patiently, 
good neighbor. All ia well. 
[To the Piper.) Why do you name a price 

so laughable. 
My man? Call you to mind; you have no 

No scrip to show. You cling upon — 

PiPBR [sternly]. Your word. 

Jacobus. I would say — just — 

Piper. Your word. 

Jacobus. Upon — 

Piper. Your word. 

Sure, 't was a rotten parchment! 

Jacobus. This is a base. 

Conniving miser! 

Piper [turning proudly]. Stand forth, 
Cheat-the- Devil I 

[Up steps the Devii. in red. Peo- 
ple shrirth, and then come closeT.] 
Be not afeard. He pleased you all, of late. 
He hath no sting. — So, boy ! Do off thy 

ICheat-the-Devii. doffs his red 
id stands forth, a pale 
s youth, gentle and 



Barbara [regarding him sadly]. That 

goodly sword-eat^r! 

Piper [defiantly]. So, Michael, so. — 

These be two friends of mine. 

Pay now an even third to each of ua. 

Or, to content your doubts, to ea«h of these 

Do you pay here and now, five hundred 

Who gets it matters little, tor us friends. 
But you will pay the sum, friend. You will 

pay! — 
HansTTSxel, AND Crowd. Come, there's 

an honest fellow. Aye, now, pay ! 

— There 's a good friend. — And would I 

had the same. 
— ^One thousand guilders? 

— No, too much. 

— No, no. 
Kurt. Pay jugglers? — With a rope 

apiece I 
Jacobus. Why — so — 

RpER. They are my friends; and they 
shall share with me. 
'T is time that Hamehn reckoned us f oi 

— Hath ever dealt with us as we were 

Now have I rid you of the other sort — 
Right you that score ! — 
Kurt. These outcasts ! 
Piper [hotly]. Say you so? 

Michael, my man! Which of you here will 

try 
With glass or fire, with him? 

Michael [mdlerUy]. No, no more glass, 

to-day ! 
Piper. Then fire and sword! 

[They back avmy.] 
So ! — And there 's not one man 
In Hamelin, here, so honest of his word. 
Stroller ! A pretty choice you leave us. — 

Quit 
This strolling hfe, or stroll into a cagel 
What do you offer him? A man eats fire — 
Swords, glass, young April frogs — 

Children, Do it again! 

Do it again I 

Pipek. You say tc such a man, — 

"Come be a monk! A weaver!" Pretty 

choice. 
Here's Cheat-the-Devil, now. 
Peter iJieCobb{«r. But what's his name? 



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i37 



Piper. He does n't know. What would 
you? Nor do I. 
But for the something he has seen of hfe, 
Making men merry, he'd know something 

The gentlest devil ever spiked Lost Souls 
Into Hell-mouth, — tor nothing-by-the- 

dayl 
Old Ursula [un(/iAere<n--(nimpe([. Piper, 

why do you call him Cheat-the- 

Devil? 
PiPBR. Because his deviltry is all a 

cheat: — 
He is no devil, — but a gentle heart ! 
— Friend Michael here hath played the 

Devil, betimes. 
Because he can so bravely breathe out 



s yelped tor 



fire. 
He plied the pitchfork 

mercy, — 
He reckoned not the stoutness of his arm !— 
But Cheat-the-Devil here, — he would not 

Why — Kurt the Syndic — thrusting him 

in hell, [Laughter.] 

Cheat -THE -Devil [wnJiappily]. No, no 

— I will not hurt him! 
PiPEH [soothingly to him]. Merry, boy I 
[To the townsfolk.] And, — if ye will have 

reasons, good, ~ ye see, — 
I want — one thousand guilders. 

Jacobus, In all surety, 

Payment you'll have, my man. But — 

Hans the Butcher. As to's friends, — 
An that yon Devil be as feat wi' his hands 
As he be slow o' tongue, why, I will take 






that would 



For prentice. Wife, 

smack o' pride '. 
Petek (Ae Cobbler. I'll take this fellow 

that can swallow fire. 
He's somewhat old for me. But he can 

My trade. — A pretty fellow ! 

Piper. And your trade? 

Peter the Cobbler. Peter the cobbler. — 

Michael. I? What, I? Make shoes? 
[ProiuUy.l 1 swallow fire. 

Piper. Enough. 

Bakbaha [aside, bitterly]. I'll not believe 

Piper [to Hans]. Your trade? 



Kanh the Butcher. I'm Hans the Butcher, 
Michael, Butcher? 

Chbat-the -Devil [unftappiiyl. Butcher! 
Oh, no ! I could n't hurt them. 

[Loud laughter.] 
Butcher's Wife. 'T is a fool! 

[The Piper motions to Michael 
and Che AT-THB- Devil, who 
during the folloviing join the 
other player-folk, strike Dteir lent, 
■pack their bundks, and wheel off 
the harrows that have served them 
for an Ark, leaving the space 
dear befm-e the Shrine. Exeunt 
StrolleTS, all but Michael, who 
hangs about, still gazing at 
Barbaka.I 
Jacobus. Good people, we have wasted 
time enow. 
You see this fellow, that he has no writ — 
PiPBH. Why not, then? 'T was a bar- 
gain. If your word 
Hold only when 't is writ — ■ 

Kurt. We cannot spend 

Clerkship on them that neither write nor 

What good would parchment do thee? 
Jacobus. My good man — 

PiPBR. Who says I cannot read? — Who 

says I cannot? 
Old (Jlaps. Piper, don't tell me you can 

read in books ! 
FiPBR[atbay]. Books! Where'sabook? 

Shew me a book, I say ! 
Old Uhbula. The Holy Book! Bring 

that — or he 'U bewitch you. 
Piper. Oh, never fear. I charm but fools 
and children; 
Now that the rats are gone. — Bring me a 

Book: 
A big one! - 

[Murmurs, The Pipek defiant. 
The crowd moves towards the 
Minster.] 

[Enter Anselm the priest, vtith a litHe aedyte, 
Oie two bearing a large illuminated Got- 
pel-hook. Anselm, eyeing the Pipek 
gravely, opens the book, which the boy 
supports on his head and shoulders.] 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Here's too lauch laid upon one guardian 
angel I 

[Beckons another Bmatl boy, and sets 
the book on their two backs.] 
Wea? — weU? — What now? 

[He hoks in frank bewitdennent at 
the eager croivd.] 
Crowd, Read, read! 

KtTBT. He cannot read. 

PiPBB [to Ansblm]. Turn — turn — 
there's nothing there. 

[Ansblm turns pages. Pipek looks 
on blankly]. 

. . . All, turn again! 
The big red Letter. — 

[He takes his pipe from fds belt.] 
No, the green ! The green one. So, 
[Slarls to pipe, looking on the book.] 

iSure 't is a mad^msn ! 
But bear him piping! 
What is he doing? 
Piper [puzzled at their mirth]. What the 
green one says. — 

[A burst of lavghter from the crowd. 
Jan, the liUle lame boy on the 
steps, reaches his arms out sud- 
denly and gives a cry of delight.] 
Jan. Oh, I love the Man! 

[He goes, with his crutch, to Ike 
PiPBB, who turns and gathers 
him close.] 
Jacobus [to the People]. Leave off this 

argument. 
KusT. In, — to the minster. 

Jacobps. Saint Willibaid ! 
Piper [in a rage]. That Saint ! ^ 
KcBT. Hence, wandering dog\ 

Piper. Oho! — Well, every Saint may 
have his day. 
But there are di^-days coming. — Eh, your 

worship? 
ITo AnseIiM, suddenly]. You, there! You 

— Brother — Father — Uncle ■ — 

— You! 

Speak! Will you let them in, to say their 

prayers 
And mock me through their fingers ? — Teil 

To settle it, among their mouldy pockets. 
Whether they keep their oath. Then will I 
go. 
KciTT [saiiasely]. Away with you ! — 



Anselm. The Piper should be heard; 
Ye know it well. Render to Cfesar, there- 

That which is Cfesar's. 

Piper. — Give the Devil his due! 

Jacobus [warily]. We must take counsel 

[Beckoning others, he and Kvut go 
into the Ralkavs, followed by all 
the men. Exit Anselm vHtk the 
Holy Book into the Minster. — 
The children jAay Mo^use, to and 
fro, round about the Fipbr. — 
The women, some of them, spin 
on the doorsteps, with little hand 
distaffs, or stand about, gossip- 
ing. The Piper wipes his fore- 
head and goes up slovAy {centre) 
to drink from thefoimtain at the 
foot of the Shrine. — Michael, 
like orte in a dream, comes down 
towards Barbara, who gazes 
back at him, fascinated, through 
her laughter.] 
Barbara. Is it for pay you loiter, Mas- 
ter Player? 
Were you not paid enough? 
Michael. No. — One more look. 

Barbara. Here, then. — Still not 

enough? 
Michael. No! One more smile. 

Barbara [agitated]. Why would you 

have rae smile? 
Michael [passionately]. Oh, when you 
smiled. 
It was — it was like sunlight coming 

through 
Some window there, 

[Pointing to the Minster.] — some vision ot 
Our Lady. 

[She drops her flowers. — He picks 
them up and gives Ihem back 
slowly.] 
Barbara. Who are you? You are some 



MictOiSh [bitterly]. A man — that passes 

for a mountebank. 
Barbara [eagerly]. I knew ! 
Michael. What then? 

Barbara. Thou art of noble birth. 

1 disguise, this playing with the 



fire! 



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THE PIPER 



*39 



Michael. Yes. — For to-day, I lord it 
With the fire. 
But it hath burned me, here, 

[Touchtng his breast. Overcome foi 
the moment, Barb aha draios 
away, — The Piper, coming 
dovni, speaks steatthUy to M 
CHAEL, who is slitt gaHng,] 
PiPBH. For all our sake: 

There is bad weather breeding. — Take I 
thy heels. 
[Bakbara turns back to see M 
CHAEL witkdravHitg reluctandy, 
and throtvs a rose to kim with 
sudden gayety,] 
Barbara. Farewell to you, Sword-Swal- 

lower ! — farewell ! 
Michael Pooftinj 6oct]. Farewell to you, 
my Lady, in -the- Moon. 

[Exit. Jan clings once more to the 
Piper, while the other children 
hang about.] 



Veronika. Darling. — 
FlPER [drawing nearer]. Is this your Boy 7 
Veronika. Ay, he is mine; 

My only one. He loved thy piping so. 
Piper. And I loved his. 
Hans' Wife [stridently]. Poor little boy! 

He's lame! 
Piper. 'T is all of us are lame! But he, 

he flies. 
Veronika. Jan, stay here if you will, 
and hear the pipe, 
At Church- time. 

PtPER [to Mm]. Wilt thou? 
Jan [so/%!. Mother lets me stay 

Here with the Lonely Man. 
Piper. The Lonely Man? 

[Jan poirOs to the Christ in the 
Shrine. Veronika crosses her- 
self. The Piper looks l<mg at the 
little boy.] 
Veronika. He always calls Him so. 
Piper . And ao would I. 

Vbkonika. It grieves liim that the Head 
is always bowed. 
And stricken. But he loves more to be here 
Than yonder in the chur^. 
Piper. And so do I, 



Veronika. What would you, darling, 
with the Lonely Man ? 
What do you wait to see? 
Jan [shyly]. To see Him smile. 

[The women-murmur. The Piper 
cornea down further to speak to 
Veronika,] 
Piper. You are some foreign woman. 
Are you not? 
Never from Hamelin! 

Veronika. No, 

Axel's Wife [to htr chOd], Then run 

And ask the Piper if he'll play again 
The tune that charmed the rats. 

Another. They might come back! 

Old Ursula [calling from her window]. 
Piper! I want the tune that charmed the 

If they come back, I'll have my grandson 
play it. 
Piper. I pipe but tor the children. 
Ilse [dropping her doU and picking it up]. 
Oh, do pipe 
Something for Fridohn! 

Hansel. Oh, pipe at me! 

NowI'mamouse! I '11 eat you up ! Rr — 

Children. Oh, pipe! Oh, play! Oh, 
play and make us dance! 
Oh, play, and make ue run away from 



We're! mice, we're mice! We'll eat up 
everything! 
Martin's Wife [calling]. 'T is church- 
time. La, what will the neighbors 

Ilse [waving her doll]. Oh, please do play 

something for Fridohn! 
AiQiiL's WiFE. Do hear the child. She's 

quite the little mother! 
Piper, A little mother? Ugh I How 
horrible. 
That fairy thing, that princess, — no, that 

Child! 
A little mother? 

[To Afr.] Drop the ugly thing! 

Mabctin's Wipe. Now, on my word! 
and what's amiss with moUiere? 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Piper, No, no. But — care 

And want and pain and age . . . 
[Turns back to Ihem vrilk a bitter change of 

ixnjx]. And penny- wealth, — 
And penny -counting. — Penny prides and 

Of what the neighbors say the neighbors 
sayl — 
Martin's Wife. And were you born 

without a mother, then? 
All. Yes, you there! Ah, I told you! 
He's no man. 
He's of the devil. 
MABTiN'a Wipe. Who waa your mother, 

then? 
Piper \fieTcely]. Mine ! — Nay, I do not 
know. For when I saw her. 
She was a thing so trodden, lost and sad, 
I cannot think that she was ever young, 
Save in the cherishing voice. — She was a 
stroller. 

[The women draw aside }uTlively, 
two by two, and listen unwillingly 
from the doorsteps with looks of 
dread and aversion, as the Piper 
continues wiih groudng passion.] 
She was a stroller. — And she storved and 

sang; 
And like the wind, she wandered, and was 

Outside your lighted windows, and fled by. 
Storm-hunted, trying to outstrip the snow. 
South, south, and homeless as a broken 

bud,— 
Limping and hiding! — And she fled, and 

laughed. 
And kept mc warm; and died! To you, a 

Nothing; 
Nothing, forever, ok, you well-housed 



mg; 
And all that limps and hides there in the 

Famishing, — broken, — lost ! 

And I have sworn 
For her sake and for all, that I will have 
Some justice, all so late, for wretched men, 



Out of these'aame smug towns that drive 

us forth 
After the show! — Or scheme to cage us up 
Out of the sunlight; like a squirrel's heart 
Torn out and drying in the market-place. 
My mother! Do you know what mothers 

are? — 
Your children! Do you know them? Ah? 

not you! 
There's not one here but it would follow 

For all your bleating! 
Axel's Wipe. Kuno, come away! 

[The children cling la him. He 
smiles down triumphantly.] 
Piper. Oho, Oho! Look you? — You 
preach — I pipe ! 
[Reenter the men, with Kort and Jacobus, 
from the Rathaus, murmuring dubi- 
ously. The Piper sets damn Jan and 
stands forth, smUing.] 
Jacobus [smoothly]. H'm! My good 
man, we have faithfully debated 
Whether your vision of so great a sum 
Might be fulfilled, — as by some miracle. 
But no. The moneys we administer 
Will not allow it; nor the common weal. 
Therefore, for your iate service, here you 

Full fifteen guilders, [holding forth a puTse] 

and a pretty sum 
Indeed, for piping! 
Kurt [ominously]. Take them! 
Jacobvs. Either that. 

Or, to speak truly, nothing! 

[The Pipes is molionless.] 
Come, come. Nay, count them, if you will. 
Kort. Times goes! 

PiPEB. Ay. And your oath? 
KuBT. No more; Enough. 

[There is a sound of organ music 

from the Minster.] 

Vbronika [fieseechingly]. Ah, Kurt! 

Kurt [souojeli/ (otfte crojud]. What do ye, 

mewling of this fellow's rights? 

He hath none! — Wit ye well, he is a 

stroller, 
A wastrel, and the shadow of a man! 
Ye waste the day and dally with the law. 
Such have no rights; not in their Ufe nor 

We are in no wise bound, N9thing is his, 



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THE PIPER 



341 



He may not carry arms; nor have redress 
For any harm that men should put on him, 
Saving to strike a shadow on the walll 
He is a Nothing, by the statute-book; 
And, by the book, so let him live or die, 
Like to a masterless d<^ ! 

[The PiPEB stands molumUss ndth 
head upraised, nof looking at 
KuBT. The peopk, haif-cowed, 
half -doubling, mtenraa- and draw 
back. Lights appear in the Min- 
ster; the wfusic cordiniiea. Kurt 
and Jacobus lead in the people. 
Jacobus picfea up the money- 
purse atid takes it udth him.] 
Voices {laughing, dmnkenly]. One thou- 
sand guilders to a " masterless dog " ! 
[Others laugh, too, pass by, with 
pity and derision for Uie Pi- 
per, and echoes of Masterless 
Dog.'" Exeunt Women andMBN 
to the Minster. Only the children 
are left, dancing round the mo- 
tionless figure of the PiPBRJ. 
Children. Oh, pipe again! Oh, pipe 
and make us dance I 
Oh, pipe and make us run away from school! 
Oh, pipe and make believe we are the mice ! 
[He looks dovm at them. He looks 
up at the houses. Then he signs 
to them, v)ith his fingers on his 
lips; and begins, very softly, to 
pipe the Kinder-spell. The old 
Claus and Ursula in Sie win- 
dows seem to doze. The children 
slop first, and look at Mm, fasci- 
nated; then they laugh, drowsily, 
and creep closer, — Jan always 
near. They crowd around him. 
He pipes louder, moving back- 
wards, slowly, with magical ges- 
tures, towards the little bystreets 
and the closed doors. The doors 
open, everywhere. Out come the 
children: little ones in night- 
gowns; bigger ones, luiiA play- 
things, toy anintols, doHs, He 
pipes, gayer and louder. They 
pour in, right and left. Motion 
and music fill the air. Tfic Piper 
lifts Jan to his shoulder (drop- 
ping the little crutch) and marches 



off, up the street, at the rear, pip- 
ing, in the midst of them aU. 
Last, out of the Minster come 
tumbling two little acolytes in red, 
and after them, Pbteb the Sacris- 
tan. He trips over them in his 
amazemerU and terror; and they 
are gone after the vanishing chil- 
dren b^ore the church-people 
come out. The oldfolksleanfrom 
their windows.] 
Old Ursula. The bell, the bell! the 
church bell I They 're bewitched ! 
[Peter rushes to the bell-rope and 
pulls it. The bell sounds heavily.] 

[Beenlfr, from the church, the citizens by twos 
and threes and scores.] 
Old Ursula. I told 3^ all, — I told ye .' 
Devil's bargains! [The bett.] 

[KiTET, Jacobus, and the others appear.] 
Kurt. Peter the Sacristan! Give by the 
bell. 
What means this clangor? 
Fetek the Sacristan. They 're bewitched! 
bewitched! 

[Still pulling and shouting. | 
Uhsula. They're gone! 
Ku«T. Thy wits! 

Old Claus. They're gone — they're 

gone — they 're gone ! 
TETsn the Sacristan. The children! 
Ursula. —With the Piper! They're 
bewitched ! 
I told ye so. 

Old Claus. — I saw it with these eyes ! 
He piped away the children. 

[Horror in the crowd. They bring 
out lanterns and candles. Vk- 
HONIKA holds up the forgotten 

Vehonina. Jan — my Jan! 

KuHT |(o AerJ. Thy boy! But mine, my 
three, all fair and straight. — 

Axkl's Wife [furiously to him]. 'T was 
thy false bargain, thine; who would 
not pay 
The Piper, — But we pay I 

Peteh the Sacristan. Bewitched, be- 
witched ! 
The boys ran out — and 1 ran after Ihem, 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



And somethiag red did trip me — 't was 

the Devil, 
The Devil! 
Old UrsuiiA. Ah, ring on, and crack the 



ACT II 

Scene I. Inside " fhe Hollow HiU." A 
great, ditn-lighled, cavernous ylace, which 
sftoujg signs of masonry. It is pari cavern and 
part ceUerage of a ruined, humed-dawn and 
forgotten old mona^sry in the kSls. — The 
only entrance (at the centre rear) , aramshackle 
wooden door, closes against a flighl of rocky 
steps. — Light comes from an opening in the 
roof, and from the right, where a faggot-fire 
glows under on iron pot. — The scene reaches 
(right and left) into dim corrters, where sleep- 
ing children lie curled up together like kittens. 
By the fire sUs the Pipeh, on a tree-stump 
seat, stitching at a tnt of red leather. At his 
feet is a row of bright-colored smaU shoes, set 
two and two. Re looks up now and then, to 
recount the children, and goes back lo work, 
with quigzical despair. Left, sits a group of 
three forlorn SiBoiiiS^a. One nurses a lame 
knee; one, evidently dumb, talks in signs lo 
the others; one is munching bread and cheese 
out of a wallet. AU have the look of hunted 
and hungry men. They speak only in whis- 
pers to each other throughout the scene; but 
their hoarse laughter breaks out now and then 
over tkebird-Uke ignorance of the children. A 
shaft of sunlight steals through the hole in Ike 
roof. Jan, uiAo Ues nearest tfie Pipbb, umkes 

Jan. Oh! [The Pipee turns.] Oh, I 
thought ... I had a dream! 

Piper [softly]. Ahi? 

Jan. Itliought , . . I dreamed . , . some- 
body wanted me. 

Piper. Sohol 

Jan [earnestly]. I thought . . . Somebody 
wanted me, 

Pipbb, How then? 

[With watchful tenderness.] 

Jan. I thought I heard Somebody crying. 



Piper. Pfuil — What a dream. — -Don't 
make me cry again. 

Jan. Oh, was it you? — Oh, yes! 

Pipbb [apart, tersely]. No Michael yet! 
[Jan begifis to laugh softly, in a be- 
wUdered way; then grows quite 
happy and forgetful. WkHe the 
other children waken, he reaches 
for the pipe and tries lo Mow upon 
it, to the Piper's amvsemer^. 
Ilse and Hansel, the Butcher's 
children, wake.] 

Ilse. Oh! 

Hansbl. ^Ohl 

Piper. AMI 

Ilse. I thought I had a dream 

PipEE. Again? 

Isle. , . . It was some lady, calling me. 

Hansel, Yes, and a fat man called us to 

A fat man, he was crying — about me ! 
That sajne fat man 1 dreamt of, yester- 
day. 
Piper. Come, did you ever see a fat 

About a little Boy? 

[The Stbollers ore convulsed with 
hoarse mirth.] 
Hansel. No, — Never. 

Ii£E. Never! 

Oh, what a funny dream! 

Piper [checking the Stbollbbs, with a 

gesture of warning towards (he door]. 

Strange sights of Hamelin through these 

Uttle windows. 
Come here, you dreamer. Tell me what he 

Hansel. He only said " Come home .'" 

But I did n't go. 
I don't know where . . , Oh, what a funny 

dream! 
Ilse. Mine was a bad dream 1 — Mine 

was a lovely lady 
And she was by the river, staring in. 
PiPEB. You were the little gold-fish, 

none could catch. 
Oh, what a fuany dream! . . . 
[Apart, anxiously.] No Michael yet. 

[Aloud]. Come, bread and broth! Here — 

not all, three at a time; 
'T is simpler. Here, you kittens. Eat 

awhiie. 



Hosiecb, Google 



THE PIPER 



243 



So there are tears in Hamelin; ^ warm, 

wet teara; 
And maybe, salt. Who knows? 
RuDi. Oh, I was dreaming! 

[The Piper takes Jan <m his knee 
and feeds kim, after ladiing out a 
big bowl of broth from the kettle 
for the Childben, and giving 
them bread.] 
Piper. Oh, I was dreaming, too! 
Children. Oh, tell it to us! 
PiEBB. I dreamed ... a Stork . , . had 

nested in my hat. 
Children. Oh! 

Piper. Aad when I woke — 

Children. You had — 

Piper. One hundred children! 

Children. Oh, it came true! Oh, oh; it 

all came true ! 
The Strollers. Ah, ho, ho, hoi 

[The dumb one rises, stretches, and 
steals toward the entrance, slop- 
ping/ U> slip a blind-patch over 
one eye. The Piper goes to him 
with one stride, seising him by 
the shoulder.] 
PiPEalto him, and the olAers, apart]. Look 
you. — No Michael yetl — And he is 

full three days now, — three days. If he 

Why then, — the little ravens shall be fed ! 

[Groans fr(m the Oiree.] 

Enoi^h that Cheat -the- Devil leaked out 

No foot hut mine shall quit this fox-hole 

And you, — think praise for once, you have 

no tongue, 
And keep these magpies quiet. 

[Turns aii:ay.] 
[To himself.] Ah, that girl. 

The Burgomeister's Barbara ! But for her, 
And moon-struck Michael with his " one 

Where is he now? — And where are we? 

[Tuming bock to the Cbildben.) So, so. 
[The Strollers huddle together, 
with looks of renewed anxiety 
and wretchedness. Their laughter 
at the Children breaks out for- 
lornly jiow and then. The Piper 



shepherds the Children, bulwiih 
watchful eyes and ears toward 
Ihe entrance always. His action 
grows more and more tense.] 
RtiDi [over his broth]. Oh, I remember 
now! — Before I woke . . . 
Oh, what an awful dream ! 

Ilse. Oh, tell UB, Rudi, — 

Oh, scare us, — Rudi, scare us! — 

Rudi [bursting into tears], . . . Lump was 
dead! 
Lump, Lump ! — [The- Children wail.] 
PiPEB [disfj-octedl. Who's Lump? — 
Rudi. Our Dog! 

Pipes [shocked and pained]. TheDog! — 
No, no. 
Heaven save us — I forgot about the dogs ! 
Rudi. He Wanted me; — and I always 

And people tied him up, ^ and other people 
Pretended that he bit. — He never bites: 
He Wanted me, until it broke his heart. 
And he was dead! 

Piper [struggling with his emotion]. And 
then he went to heaven, 
To chase the happy cats up all the trees; — 
Little white cats ! ... He wears a golden 

And soinetimes — [vlaide] — I'd forgot 

about the dogs ! 
Well, dogs must suffer, so that men grow 



[He 






piping 
ksson.] 

Chiu)ren. Oh, what a funny dream ! 
[Suddenly he lifts his hand. They 
listen, and hear a dim sound of 
distant chanting, going by on 
some neighboring road. The 
Piper is puzzled; the Strollers 
are plainly depressed.] 
Jan. What is It? 

Piper. People; passing down below, 

In the dark valley. 

[He looks at the Children ^ledZj/.] 
Do you want to see them? 
Chii:j>ren. Don't let them find us! 
What an ugly noise, — 
No, no — don't let them comel 

Pipi;r. Hark ye to me. 

Some day I 'U take you out with me to play; 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



High in the sun, — close to the water- 
fall 

And we will make believe — We'll make be- 

We're hiding.' 

[The SrROLtEBS rock with mirth.] 
Children. Yes, yes! Ob, let ua make 

believe ! 
Strollers, Oho, ho, ho! — A make-be- 
lieve ! — Ho, ho I 
Piper. But, if you're good, — yes, very 
very soon 
I'll take you, as I promised, — 
Children. — Gypsies, oh ! 

Piper. Yea, with the gypsies. We aball 
go at night. 
With just a torch — [Watching them.] 

Children. Oh! 

PiPBR. Like fire-flies ! Will-o'-the-wisps ! 
Andmakebeiieve we're hiding, aii the way. 
Till we come out into a sunny land, — 
All vines and sunlight, yes, and men that 

aingi 
Far, far away — forever. 

[Gives Ilse a bowl to feed the other 
Children. Jan pipes a measure 
0/ (Ae Kinder-spetl, brokenly. 
The Piper turns.] 

So I Thou 'It be 
My maater, some day. Thou shalt pipe tor 

Jan [piping]. Oh, was n't that one beau- 
tiful? — Now you ! 
Piper {taking the pipe]. The rainbow- 
bridge by day; 
— And borrow a shepherd-crook! 
At night we take to the Milky Way; 

AtuI then we foUow the brook! 
We'U follow the brook, whatever way 
The brook shtdl sing, or the eun shall say, 

Or the mothering wood-dove coos! 
And what do I aire, what else I wear. 
If I keep my rainbov) shoes! 

[He points to the little row of bright 
shoes. The Children scream 
with joy. Ilse ami Hansel run 

Children. Oh dear! What lovely shoes 1 
Oh, which are mine? 
Oh ! Oh ! — What lovely shoes ! Oh, which 

Piper. Try, till you see. 



[Taking up a little red pair.] But tbeae, — 
these are for Jan. 

[Jan is perched on the tree-stump, 
shy and silent with pleasure.] 
Ilse. Oh, those are best of all! And Jan— 
PiPEH. And Jan 

la not to trudge, like you. Jan is to wear 
Beautiful shoes, and shoes made most of ail, 
To look at! 

[Takes up a pair of bird's Tuings.] 
Children [squealing]. Oh! Where did 
you find the wings? 
Bird's wings ! 
FipBB. There was some hunt«r Jn the 
woods. 
Who killed more birds than he could carry 

He did not want these, — though the star- 
ling did, 
But could not use them morel And so, — 
[Fastening one to each heel.] And so, — 

They trim a little boy. 

[Puts titem on Jan. He is radiant. 

He stretches out his legs and pats 

the feathers.] 

Children [trying on theirs and capering]. 

O Jan! — O JanI 

[The Piper looks at Jan.] 
PiPEH. Hey day, what now? 

Jan. I wish . . . 

PtpEB. What do you wish? Wish tor it! 
— It shall come. 

|Jan pulls him closer and speaks 
shyly.] 
Jan. I wish — that I could show them 
to the Man, 
The Lonely Man. 

[The Piper looks at him and backs 
away; sits down helplessly and 
looks at him again.] 



Oh, ( 



1 I?- 



PiPER. Thou ! — 'T would make me a 

Jan. Oh! it would make Him smile! 

[The Children dance and caper. 

Trodb wakes up and joins them. 

Sound of distant chanting again.] 

Trodb. — I had a dream! 

Piper. A dream! 

[Pretending to be amazed. Reflects, 



cb, Google 



THE PIPER 



I knowl — Oh, what a funny dream! 
IThe Children ail fall a-laughing 
when he does. — Noise tmtkout. 
Cheat -THE -Devil's voice cry- 
ing, " C-iickoo — Cuckoo!"] 
Chbat-the-Devil. Quick, quick! — 
I 've something here. 

[The others roll away a big stone, 
and enter by the leooden door 
(fear), Che at-the -Devil. He 
does not ivear his red hood. He 
has a garland round his neck, 









Piper [sharply to himself]. No Michael 
yet! 
\To Che AT -the -Devil]. Michael! — 
Where's Michael? 
Che at-the -Devil. Look you, — you 
aiust wait. 
We must be cunning. — There 's a squirrel, 

mark you, 
Hopped after me I He would have found us 

I wanted him; I loved him. But I ran. 
For once a squirrel falls a-talking- — Ah ! 
Look what I have. — Guess, guess ! 

[Shomng his basket to the Chil- 

Chilsren'. Cakes! [He is sad.] 

Shoes! [He is sadder]. 

Then — honey ! 

[He radiantly undoes his basket, 

and displays a honeycomb. The 

Strollers, too, rush upon him.] 

Piper. Ah, Cheat-the- Devil ! They 

would crop your ears. 

Where had you this? 

Che AT -THE -Devil. Why, such a kind 
old farmer! 
He'd left his bee-hives ; they were all alone; 
And the bees know me. So 1 brought this 

for you; 
I knew They 'd like it. — Oh, you 're happy 

PipEB. But Michael, — have they 
caught him? 

Chbat-the- Devil. Oh, not they! 

1 heard no word of Michael ; Michael 's safe ! 
Once on the road 1 met a countryman. 
Asked me the way. And not a word I spoke ! 
'T is tar the wisest. Twenty riddles he 



I smiled and wagged my head. Anon cries 

he, 
"This Fool is deaf and dumb!" — That 

made me angrj-. 
But still I apoke not. — And I would not 

hurt him! 
He was a bad man. But I liked the mule. — 
Now am I safe! — Now am I home at last! 
PiPEH. 'St. — Met you any people on 

the way. 
Singing? 

Cheat-the-Devil. No, growling, — 

growling dreary psalms 
All on a sunny day ! Behind tJie hedges, 
1 saw them go. They go from Hamelin, 

And I know why I — 

[The Piper beckons him away from 
the Children.] 

The mayor's Barbara 
Must go to Rudersheim, to be a Nun! 
Piper. To be a Nun! 
Che YT-THE -Devil. A i>enance for them 
all. 
She weeps; but she must go! All they, you 

Are HTOth against him. — He must give his 
child — 
Piper. A nun! 

Cheat-the-Devil [nodding]. Forever! 

— She, who smiled at Michael. 

Look you, she weeps! They are bad people 

all; — 
Nothing like these. 

{Looking at the Children.] 

These are all beautiful. 

Piper. To lock her up! A maiden, shut 

Out of the sun. To cage her there for life. 
Cut off her hair ; pretend that she is dead ! — 
Horrible, horrible! No, I'll not endure it. 
I'llend this murder.— He shall give up his; 
But never so I — Not so! — While I do live 
To let things out of cages ! — Tell me, 

quick! — 
When shall it happen? 

Che at-the -Devil. Why, it falls to-day. 
I saw two herds of people going by. 
To be there well aforetime, for the sight. 
And she is going last of all, at noon; 
All sparkling, like a Bride. — I heard thera 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Piper. No, never, never ! — No, it shall 
not be ! 

[Steps heard scrambling down the 

entrancejvay.] 

[Enter Michael in mad haste. They rusk 

upon him with exultation and relief. He 

shakes them off, doggedly,] 

Piper. So! — You had like to have 

hanged us. 
Michael. — What of that? 

PiPEH. All for a Uly maiden. 
Michael. Ah, — thy pipe ! 

How will it save her? — Save her! — Tune 

thy pipe 
To compass thatl — You do not know — 
PiPEK. I know. 

Tell me no more. — I say it shall not be ! 
To heel, lad! No, I follow, — none but II 
Go, — gol [Michael rushes out again.] 
[To Cheat -THE -Devil, pointing to the 
Childhbn.] Do you bide here and 
shepherd these. 
Children. Where are you going? — ■ 
Take us too! — us too! — 
Oh, take us with you? — Take us I 

Piper [distracted]. No, no, no! 

You shall be kittens all. And chase your 

Till I come' back I — So here ! 

[Catches Hansel o)trf affixes to his 

Utile jacket a long strip of leather 

for a tail; then ivhirls him about.] 

Children. Me too! — Me too! 

Cheat -THE -Devil. Let me make tails, 

— let me ! 

[Seizing shears and leather.] 

Piper [wUdly]. Faith, and you shall. 

A master tailor! ^ Come, here's food for 

thought. 
Think all, — 
[To the Strollers.! And hold your tongues 

If a Cat— 
If a Cat have — as all men say — Nine 

And it Nine Tailors go to make a Man, 
How long, then shall it take one Man 

turned Tailor 
To keep a Cat in Tails, until she die? 

[Cheat-the- Devil looks subdued; 
the Children u'hirl about. ] 



But here 's no game for Jan. ^ Stay ! Some- 
thing else. — 

[He runs to a wooden coffer, rear, 
and takes out a long crpsial on the 
end of a string, with a glance at 
the shaft of sunlighlfrom the roof. 
The Children watch.] 
Be quiet, now. — Chase not your tails too 

far. 
Till I come home again. 

Children. Come home — come homel 
Piper. And you shall see my — 
Children. Something Beautiful! 

Oh, oh, what is it? — Oh, and will it piay? 
WiU it play music? 
Piper. Yes. 

[He hangs the crystal in the sun. A 
Rainbow strikes the wall.] 

— The best of all! 

Cheat-the- Devil, Jan, Children. Oh, 

oh, how beautiful, — how beautiful ! 

Piper. And hear it pipe and call, and 

dance, and sing. 

H^&.' — And hark you all. You have to 

The Rainbow ! 

[He dimba out, pipe in hand. The 
Children whirl about after their 
taUs. — Cheat-the-Devil, and 
Jak on his tree-stump, open- 
mouthed with happiness, watch 
the Rainbov:.] 



ScKNE II, The CrosS'Ways on the Long 
Road to Rudersheim. A wooded country, high 
hills at back. The place is wUd and over- 
grown, like the haunted spot it is reputed to 
be. In the foreground, right, a ruirted stone 
weU appears, in a mass of weeds and vines. 
Opposite, left, toU trees and dense thickets. 
Where the roads cross (to left of centre), stands 
a large, neglected shrine, vntk a weather-worn 
figure of Christ, — a^in the " Lonely Man," 
— facing toward Hamelin. The stage is 
empty, at rise of the curtain; but the sounrf of 
chanting from burghers just gone by fades 
slowly, on the road to Rudersheim. From the 
hillside at the rear comes the Piper, wrapped 
in a long green cloak, his pipe in his hand. 
He looks after the procession, and back to 
Hamelin. 



cb, Google 



THE PIPER 



[Enier, springing from the bushes Jo the right, 
MiCHABi/, v)ho seises him. Their speech, 
goes breathlessly.] 
Michael. Quick! — tell me — 
Piper. — Patience. 

Michael. Patience? — Death and hell! 
Oh, save her — save her! Give the children 

Piper. Never. Have you betrayed us? 



Michael, 




I! — betrayed? 


Piper. So, s 


,lad. 




Michael. 


But to 


save her — 


Piper. 




There's a way, — 


Trust me! Isai 


'e her, or 


ivc swing together 




«. — How did yo\i see her? 


Michael. By stealth 


two days ago, at 


evening, 






Hard by the 


dne-hid 


waU of her own 



I made a warbling like a nightingale ; 
And she came out to hear. 

Piper. A serenade! 

Under the halter ! 

Michael. Hush. — A death -black night. 
Until she came. — Oh, how to tell thee, lad ! 
She came, — she came, not for the nightin- 
gale, 
But even dreaming that it would hf: I! 

Piper. She knew you? — We are 
trapped, then, 

Michael. No, not so! 

She smiled on me. — Boat thou remember 

She smiled on me that day? Alas, poor 

She took me for same noble in disguise ! 
Acd all these days, — she told me, — she 

had dreamed 
That I would come to save her! 

PiPBB. Said she this? 

Michael. All this — all this, and 

What could lies do? — I lied to her of thee; 
I swore I knew not of thy vanishment, 
Nor the lost children. But I told her true, 
1 was a stroller and an outcast man 
That hid there, like a famished castaway. 
For one more word, one look, without a 

Helpless to save her. 

Piper. And she told thee then, 

She goes to be a nun? 



Michael. Youth to the gravel 

And I — vile nothing — cannot go to save 

Only to look my last — 

PiPKR. Who knows? 

Michael [bitterly]. Ah, thou — 

Piper. Poor Nightingale ! 

[Fingers his pipe, noiselessly.] 
Michael [rapt vntk grief]. Oh, but the 

Piper. She smiled on thee. 
Michael. Until she heard the truth: — 
A juggler, — truly, — and no wandering 

knight! 
Oh, and she wept. 

[Wildly.] Let ub al! hang together. 

Piper. Thanks. Kindly spoken. — Not 

this afternoon ! 
Michael. Thou knowest they are given 

up for dead? 
Piper. Truly. 
Michael. Bewitched? 
Piper. So are they. 

Michael. Sold to the Devil? 

Piper [paciTig softly up and down, mtk the 
restless cunning of a squirrel at uiateh]. 
Hui! But who else? Of course. This 
same old Devil ! 
This kind old Devil takes on him all we do! 
Who else is such a refuge in this world? 
Who cciuld have burned the abbey in this 

place. 
Where holy men did live? Why, 't was the 

Devil! 
And who did guard us one secluded spot 
By burying a wizard at this cross-ways? — 
So none dare search the haunted, evilplacel 
The Devil for s, landlord ! — So say I ! 
And all we poor, we strollers, for hia tenants; 
We gj-psies and we pipers in the world, 
And a few hermits and sword-swallowers, 
And all the cast-aways that Holy Church 
Must put in cages — cages — to the end ! 
[To MicEAEL, who is overcome.] Take heart! 
I swear, — by all the stars that 



chime! 






I'll not hove things in 


Cages! 




Michael. 




Barbara I 


So young, — so young 


and beautiful ! 


Piper. 




And fit 


To mari'y with friend Michael! 




Michael. 


Do not mock. 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



PiPBB. I mock not. — (Baa — Baa — 

Barbara! 
Michael. Ay, she laughed, 

On that first day. But Htill she gazed. — I 

Her, all the while! I swallowed — 

Piper. Prodigies! 

A thousand swallows, and no summer yet! 
But now, — 't is late to ask, — why did 

you not 
Swallow her father? — That had saved us 
all. 
Michael. They will be coming soon. 
They wiU cut off 
All her bright hair, — and wall her in tor- 

PiPBR. Never, They shall not. 
Michael [dully]. Will you give them 

Nowf 

Piper. 1 will never give them back. Be 

MiCHAki.. And she is made an offering 
for them all. 
I heard it of the gossips. — They have sworn 
Jacobus shall not keep his one ewe-iamb 
While ail the rest go childless. 

Piper. And I swear 

That he shall give her up, — to none but 
theet 
Michael. You cannot do it ! 
Piper. Have I lived like Cain, 

But to make good one honr of Life and Sun? 
And have I got this Hamelin in my hands. 
To make it pay its thousand cruelties 
With such a fool's one-more? . . . 

~ You know right well, 
'T was not the thousand guilders that I 

wanted 
For thee, or me, or any! — Ten would 

But there it ached; there, in the money-bag 
That serves the town of Hamelin for an 

That stab was mortal! And I thrust it 

Life, life, I waited; safety, — sun and 

And but to show them how that daily fear 
They call their faith, is made of blasphemies 
That would put out the Sun and Moon and 
Stars, 



Early, tor some last judgment! 

[He laughs up to the tree-tops.) 

And the Lord, 

Where will He get his Harpers and singing- 

And them that laugh for joy? — From 

Hamelin guilds? — 
Will you imagine Kurt the Counciiior 
Trying to sing? 

[ffe looks at his pipe again; then 
listens intenilj/,] 
Michael. Hisleanthroatfreeze! — But, 

Barbara! Barbara!^ 

FiPEH. Patience. She will come. 

Dressed like a bride. 

Michagl. Ah, do not mock me eo. 

Pi PER. I mock not. 

Michael. She will never look at me. 

Piper. Rather than be a nun, I swear 
she will 
Look at thee twice, — and with a long, long 

[Chant apyroachee m the dislanca. 
coming from Hamelin.] 
Voices. Dies irae, dies iUa 
Sdvet saeelum in favilla, 
Teste David cum Sibylia. 
Quanlui tremor eetfulurus, 
Quando judex est venltirua, 
Cuncla stjitte discussurus! 
Piper. Bah, how they whine I Why do 

they drag it so? 
Michael [overcome]. Oh, can it be the 
last of all? O Saints! — 
O blessed Francis, Ursula, Catherine! 
Hubert ■ — and Crispin — Pantaleone — 

Paul! 
George o' the Dragon! — Michael the 
Archangel ! 
Piper. Michael Sword-eater, canst not 
swallow a chant? 
The well, the well! — Take care. 

Voices [nearer]. Inter oves locum praesla, 
El ah hoedie me segueslra, 
Slaluens in parte dextra. 
Confutatis tnalediclis, 
Flammis acribus addictis 
Voca me cum benedictis. 

[Michael climbs doiim the ancient 
uiell, reaching his head up warUy 



cb, Google 



lo see. The Piper loanes to Aim 
debonairly, points to the tree-tops, 
l^t, and standu a moment akow- 
ing in his Jam his disapproval of 
the music. He fingers his pipe. 
As the hymn draiee near, he 
scrambles among the bushee, left, 
and disappears.] 

[Enter slowly, chanting, the company of 
burghers from Hamelin, — men together 
first, headed by priests; then the woTnen. 
— Ansblm and all the townsfolk appear 
(samng Vebonika, the wife of Kurt) ; 
Jacobus is meek; Kurt very stern. — 
As they appear, the piping of the Dance- 
spell begms softly, high in air. The 
hymn waiters; when the first burghers 
reach the centre of the stage, it breaks 
down. They look up, bewildered; then, 
with every sign of constemaHon, struggle, 
and vtxanl fear, they begin to dance, 
wiUy^itly. Th^r faces work; they 
struggle to walk on; but it is ■useless. The 
music whirls them irresistibly into a 
rhythmic pace of J time, and jogs their 
words, when they try to speak, into the 
same dance-measure. One by one, — 
two and two they go, — round and round 
like corks at first, with every sign of 
struggle and protest, then og, on the long 
road to Rfidersheim. Fat priests walls 
together. — KtTBT the fierce and 3k- 
COBU8 the sleek hug eaeh other in frantic 
endeavor to be released. Their words jolt 
insanely.] 

-No, no.— 

- No, no I 

— I, yes. — 
a, yes. — Yes, yest 

fLa — CTjpnos — a — Dies — iti — 
Bewitched — the Devil! — be- 
witched — bewitched I 
I will not — wiU not — will — I 
wiii! 
No, 



Kurt, Jacobus. 



(No, 1 
iNo, I 
1 Yes, 






but where ! — Help — 
help I — To anus I 
Suppii — canti — suppli — Oh! 
To Hamelin — back — to 

Hamelin — stay ! 
No, nol — No, no, — Away, 
. — away 1 



249 

[They dance out convulsively, to- 
wards Rudersheim. Kuar and 
Jacobus, still whirling, cry.] 

I Yes, yea! — yes, yes! 
-Let go -let go- 
No, no ! — I will not — 
Nol ... No! 
[Exeunt, left, dancing.} 
Keep time, keep time !, Have 

mercy !^ Time! 
Oh, let me — go ! — Let go — 

let gol 
Yee, yes — Yes, yes ^ No, ao 



(Barbara appears, pale and beautiful; — 
ruMy dressed in white, with flowing 
locks. She is wan and exhausted. — The 
datice-mania, as it seizes her, makes her 
circle slowly and dazedly with a certain 
pitiful silliness. The nuns and monies 
aeemnpanying her point in horror. But 
Ihey, loo, dance off with each other, wiUy- 
nUly, — tike leaves in a tempest. Bar- 
BAEA is left alone, still circling slowly. 
The piping sounds softer. She staggers 
aaainst a tree, and keeps on waving her 
hands and turning her head, vaguely, in 
time. yiicn/LB,T,looks forth from the well; 
then climbs out and approaches her.] 
Michael. She is so beautiful, — how 
dare I tell her? 

My heart, how beautiful! The blessed 

Fear nothing, fairest Lady. — You are 

[She looks at him unseeingly, and 
continues lo dance. — He holds 






pher.] 



Pray you, the danger's gone. Pray you, 

take breath I 
Poor, shining dove, — I would not hold 

thee here. 
Against thy wish, — 'T is Michael, the 

sword-eater. [The piping ceases.] 
Barbara [murmuring]. Yes, yes — I 

must — I must — I must , . . 

[ReStiler the Piper /rom the thickets.] 
Michael. Look, I will guard you like a 
princess, here; 
Yes, like Our I^y's rose-vine. 



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Barbara [gasping]. Ah, my heart! 

jTAe PiPEB comes (ouJords fter. She 
sees kim and holds out her arms, 
crying:] 
Oh, he has saved me I — I am thine — 
thine — thine! 
[Falls into his arms half -fainting. 
The Piper stands amazed, 
(darmed, chagrined.] 
Piper. Mine? 

Michael [furiously]. Thinef — Bo was 

it? AU a trap? Cock's bloodl 

Thine, thine I — And thou hast piped her 

wita away. 
Thine! 

PiPEB [holding her off[. No, not mine! 
Barbara [to ftim]. Why did you steal me 
hence? 
When did you love me? — Was it on first 

Piper [confounded]. I, love thee? 
Michael. — Knave! thief! liar! 
Piper. — Give me breath. 

[Holds og Barbaka gently.] 
Barbara. Where arc you taking me? 
Piper. I? Taking thee? 

Michael [to ft^r). He shall not steal thee I 
Barbara [in a daze], I must follow him. 
Piper. JVo.' 'T is too much. You shall 
not follow me! 
I'll not be followed. — ^ Damsel, sit you 

Here is too much.! I love you not. 

Barbara [wonderingly]. You do not? 
Why did you pipe to me? 

Michael, — And steal her wits, 

Stealer of all the children ! 

Barbara [vaguely]. Are they sate? 

PiPBH [to Michael]. Oh, your good 
faith 1 — 
\To her.] They're safe. 

Barbara. I knew — I knew it! 

Piper. And so art thou. But never shall 
they go 
To Hamelin more; and never shall thou go 
To be a nun. 

Barbara. To be a nun, — no, no! Ah 
me, I'm spent. 
Sir, take me with you. 

Michael [still enraged, to Oie Piper]. Rid 
her of the spell 1 
Is this thy pledge? 



Piper [distracted]. I do but rub my wits 
To think — to think. 

[To himself]. What shall I do with her, 
Now she ia here? What if she stayed? — 

Forever? 
[To them.] Hearken. — You, Michael, on to 
Rudersheim — 

Michael. And leave her here? No, no! 

Piper. Then take the gir'- 

Barbara. To Rudereheim? No, never, 

Piper. Well . . . 

Hearken. — There is the hermit, over the 
hill. [Apart, wildly.] 

Bnt how — ■ suppose she will not marry him? 
I will not take her where the children are. 
And yet — [An idea strikes him. To her.] 
Hark, now; — hark now, and tell me truly: 
Can you spin cloth? 

Barbara [amazed]. I? Spin? 

Piper [eagerly]. Can you make shoes? 

Barbara. 1 — /makeshoesl — Fellowl 

Piper. So. 

Michael. Art thou madl 

Piper. With me you may not go! But 



you 11 






Hearken: — you, Michael, go to Ruder- 
sheim; 
And tell the nuns — 

Barbara. No, no! I dare not have it! 
Oh, they would send and take me ! No, no. 

Piper. Would you go haek to Hamehn? 
Barbara. No — no — no! 

Ah, I am spent. 

[Droops towards the Piper; falters 
and sinks down on the bank be~ 
side the tvell, in a sxBoon, — The 
Piper is abashed and rueful for 
the moment,] 
Michael. All this, your work! 

Piper [looking at her closely]. Not mine. 
This is no charm. It is all youth and grief. 
And weariness. And she shall follow you. — 
Tell the good nuns you found her sore be- 
witched, 
Herein this haunt of "devils"; — clean dis- 
traught, 
No Church couid so receive a dancing nun t 
Tell them thou art an honest, piteous maa 
Desires to marry her. 
Michael. Marry the Mooul 



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THE PIPER 



asi 



Piper. No, no, the Moon for dm 
shall be yours; 
And here she sleeps, until her wits be sound. 
[He spreads his cloah i 
gently.] 

The Bun's still high. T is barely aftemoon. 

[Looks at the sunakine. A Uiought 

strikes him with sudden dismay.] 

'T is — no, the time is going ! — On my life 

I hnd forgot Them ! — And They will not 

stay 
After the Rainbow fades. 
Michael [amfounded]. Art thou r 

PltER [madly]. No. Stirnot! Keep her 

But first I go. — They'll not mind Cheat- 

the-Devil ! 
They'll creep, to find out where the Rain- 

I know them! So would I! —They'll all 
leak out I 
Michael. Stay — stay 
Piper. No; guard her, you! — Anon, 

Michael, But you will pipe her up and 

after you I 
FirfiR IflinffiTtg him the pipe from his bell\. 
Do you fear this? Then keep it till 
I come. 
You bide ! — The Other cannot. 
Michael, Who? 

PiPEK. The Rainbow, 

The Rainbow.'^ 

[He runs madly up the hillside, and 
away.] 



ACT III 

Scene; The same, iafer. Barbara iies 
motionless, still sleeping. — Michael, sitting 
on the bank opposite, fingers the pipe ■with awe 
and wislfidness. He blows softly upon it; then 
looks at the girl hopefiMy. She does not stir. 
[Enter the Piper, from the hills at back. He 
carries a pair ofivaler-jars slung over his 
shoulders, arid seems to be in htghfeaiheT.] 

Piper [singing]. Out of your cage. 
Come oirf of your cage 
And take your soul on a pilgrimage/ 



Pease in your shoes, an %f you m,ust! — 
But out and away, before you're dust: 
Scribe and Stay-at-home, 
Saint and Sage, 
Out of your cage, 
Out of your cage! — 

[He feigns lo be lerror-slruck at 
sight of the pipe in Michael's 
hands.] 
Ho, help! GoodMichaeI,Michael,loosethe 

charm! 
Michael, have mercy! I'm bewitched! — 
Michael [giving him the pipe]. Cook's 
faith! 
Still mocking! — Well ye know, it will not 

play 
Such games for me. 
Piper. Be soothed,^ 'twasaslguessed 
[Unslings the jars.] 
All of them hungry, — and the Rainbow 

going; — 
And Cheat-Oie-Devil pining in a corner. 
'Twas well I went: they were for leaking 

And then, — lopped ears for two! 
Michael. Oh, that will come. 

PipEB. Never beUeve it! We have saved 
her, look you; 
Ve save them all! No prison walls again, 
For anything so young, in Hamelin there. 
Wake her, and see. 

Michael. Ay, wake her. But tor me, 
Her sleep is gentler. 

Piper [comfortingly]. Nay, but wait. — 

Good faith. 

Wait. We have broke the bars of iron now; 

Still there are golden! — 'T is her very self 

within herself. Once coax her out, 

Once set her own heart free! — 

Michael. Wake her, and see! 

[The Piper crosses, humming.] 
Piper. Mind your eyes, tune your tongue! 
•et it never be said, but sung, — sung; 
"Out of your cage, out of your cage!" 
Maiden, mo'tden, — 

[He wakes her gerMy Barhajia 
sits up, plavnly bewildered; then 
site tees the Piper, and says 
happily I 
Barbara Oh'^jou have come to 
save me Thej are gone. 
All this, for love of me! 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



her iKck.] 
Piper [indignant] . No ! Blood on the 

Moon' 
This ia the maddest world I ever blinked 

at — 
Pear nothing, maiden. I will tell you all. 
Come, sit you down; and Michael shall 

keep watch 
From yonder hillock, lest that any pass. 
Pear nothing. None will pass : they are too 

The Devil hath this cross-ways ! — Sit you 

[Michael •watches, wUk jealous 

wislfulness, from the road (left 

Tear) . — Barbara half fearfuUy 

sits up, on thu bank by the well.] 

Barbara. Not love? And yet , . . you 

do not want my pearls? 

Then why — 

Pipes. For why should all be love or 
money? 
Money I Oho, — that mouldy thousand 

You think of! — But it was your Hamelin 

friends 
That loved the guilders, and not I. 

Barbara. Then why — 

Why did yon steal me hence? 

Piper. Why did yourself 

Long to be stolen? 

Barbara lshud(kring]. Ah! to be shut 
up. . . 
Forever, — young — alive ! 

Piper. Alive and singing; 

Young, — young; — and four thick walls 

No music, and no wandering, and no life! 
Think you, I would not steal all things 

Out of such doom? — How can 1 breathe 

and laugh 
While there are things in cages? — ■ You are 

And you shall never more go back again. 

Bahbara. And you, who are you then? 

Piper. How do / know? 

Moths in the Moon 1 — Ask me a thing in 



Barbara. And 't was not . . . that you 

Piper. Loved thee? No! — 

Save but along with squirrels, and bright 

fish, 
And bubbling water. 
Barbara. Then where shall I go? 

Piper. Oh, little bird, — is that your 
only song? 
Go? Everywhere! Here be no walls, no 

hedges. 
No tolls, no taxes, — rats nor aldermen ! 
Go, say you? Round the world, and round 

[Apart], — Ah, she was Hamelin-born. 

[He watches her.] 

But there's a man, ~ 

Sky-true, sword-strong, and brave to look 

One that would thrust his hand in dragon's 

mouth 
For your bright sake; one that would face 

the Devil, 
Would swallow fire — 

Barbara. You would? 

Piper [desperately]. If — No, not 1 1 
Michael, — yon goodman Michael. 

Bahbara bitterly]. A stroller! — oh, 

nou^t but a wandering man. 
Piper. Well, would you have a man take 

root, I ask? 
Barbara. That swallows swords. . . . 
Piper. Is he a comely man? 

Barbara. That swallows swords ! — 
Piper. What's manlier to swallow? 
Did he but swallow pancakes, were that 



and sausage, Hke your Hamelin 
yokels? 
He swallows fire and swords, 1 say, and 

And yet this man hafh for a whole noon- 
Guarded you while you slept; — still as a 

Distant and kind as shadow; giant-strong 
For his enchanted princess, — even you. 

Barbara, So you bewitched me, then. 

Piper [wildly]. How do I know? 

Barbara. Where are the children? 

Piper. I'll not tell you that. 

You are too much of Hamelin. 



db, Google 



»S3 



Bahbaka. You bewitched them! 

PiPER, Yes, so it seems. But how? — 

Upon my life, 

T ia more than 1 know, — yes,ahttlemore. 

[Rapidly; half in earnest arid half in 

johimsy.] 

Sometimes it works, and sometimes no. 

There are 
Some things upon my soul, I cannot do. 

[Watching her.] 
Babbasa [Kxpeetantly], Not even with 

thy pipe? 
Piper. Not even so. 

Some are too hard. — Yet, yet, I love to 

try: 
And most, to try with all the hidden charms 
I have, that I have never counted through. 
Barbara [/oscinoted]. Where are they? 
Piper [torching his heart]. Here. 
Barbara. Where are they? 

Piper. How do I know? 

If I knew all, why should I care to Lve? 
No, no! The game is What- Will Happen- 
Next? 
Barbara. And what will happen? 
Piper [lanUdisingty]. Ah!howdolknow? 
It keeps me searching. 'T is so glad and 

And strange to find out, What-Wili-Hap- 

pen-Next ! 
And mark you this; the strangest mir- 

Barbara. Yes! — 

PiPEB. Stranger than the Devil or the 
Judgment; 
Stranger than piping, — even when / pipe! 
Stranger than charming mice — or even 

Barbara [with tense expectancy). What 

is it? What? 
"PiPEn [watching her]. Why, — what may 

Here in the heart. There is one very 

charm — 
Barbara. Oh! 
Piper. Are you brave? 

Barbara [awestruck]. Oh! 

Piper [dmdy]. Will you drink the 

philter? 
Barbara, 'T is , . . some enchantment? 
Piper [myeteriausly]. 'T is a love philter. 
Barbara. Oh, tell me first — 



PiPBH. Why, sooth, the only charm 

In it, is Love. It is clear well-water. 

Barbara [disappointed]. Only well- 
crater? 

Piper. Love is only Love. 

It must be philters, then? 



[He. 



■s dowrt smiiing and beck- 
ons Id Michael, viho draws 

This lady thirsts 
For magic! 

[He ties a long green scarf that he 
has over Ats skoidder, to a uxUer- 
jar, and towers it down the old 
well; vihih Barbara watches, 
awC'Stmck. He continues to sing 

Mind your eyes, 
Tune your tongue; 
Let it never be said, 
Bui sung, — sung! — 

Michael [to Barbara, timidly]. I am 
glad at least, fair lady, 
To think how my poor show did give you 

plea.ure 
That day — that day when — 
Barbara. Ah! that day of doom! 

Michael. What is your will? 
Barbara [poasionotei^]. I know not; and 



Ic 






[Apart]. Oh, it is true. — And he a Bword- 

|Tfte Piper AQu£s«j)[ftejor,/«flo/ 
water.] 
PiPBii. Michael, your cup. 

[Michael gives him a drinking- 
horn from his belt. The Piper 
filled it vnth water, solemnly, and 
turns to Barbara, who is at first 
defiant, then fascinated.] 
Maiden, your ears. So: ■ — hearken. 
Before you drink of this, is it your will 
Forever to be gone from Hamelin? 
Barbara. I must, — I must. 
Piper. Your mother? 

Barbara [piteously]. I have no mother; 
Nor any father, more. He gave me up. 
Piper. That did he ! — For a round one 
thousand guilders! 
Weep not, I say! First, loose you, heart 
and shoes, 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Prom Hamelin, Put off now, the dust, the 

mould, 
The cobble-stones, the httle prying win- 

The streefs that dream o' What the Neigh- 
bors Say. 

Think you were never born there. Think 
some Breath 
d you early — early on one mom- 



Deep in a Garden (but you knew uot whose), 
Where voices of wild waters bubbling ran, 
Shaking down music from gkd mountain- 

Where the still peaks were burning in the 

Like fiery snow, — down to tJie listening 

valleys, ' 
That do off their blue mist only to show 
Some deeper blue, some haunt of violets. 
No voice you heard, nothing you felt or 

Save in your heart, the tumult of young 

A nestfvd of wet wings and morning-cries, 

Throbbing for flight! . . , 

Then, — for your Soul, new wakened, felt 
athirst, 

You turned to where that call of water led. 

Laughing for truth, — all truth and star- 
like laughter! 

Beautiful water, that will never stay. 

But runs and laughs and sparkles in the 

And sends live laughter trickling every- 

And knows the thousand longings of the 

Earth! 
And as you drank it then, so now, drink 

[He reaches her tim horn. She has 
listened, motionless, like a thing 
bevntched, h^reyesfixedand wide, 
as if she were dleep-walking. She 
drtTiks. Michael stands near, 
also motionleBB. When she 
speaks, it is in a younger voice, 
shy, sweet, and fvll of vionder.] 
And tell me, — t«ll me, yon, — what hap- 
pened then? 
What do you see? 

Barbara. Ah 1 — 



[She looks before her with wide, nevi 

Piper. Do you see — a — 

Barbara, . . . Michaell 

Piper. So! — Andagoodone. And you 

call him? — 
Barbara. . . , Michael. 

Piper. So, — 'T is a world of wonders, 
by my faith 1 — 
What is the fairest tiling you see but — 
Barbara. Michael. 

Piper, And is he comely as a man should 
be? 
And strong? — And wears good promise in 

hia eyes, 
And keeps it with his heart and with his 
hands? [She nods like a child.] 

And would you fear to go with him? — 
Barbara. No, no! 

Piper. Then reach to hiia that little 
hand of yours. 

[Michael, wonder-slrvck, runs to 
the jar, pours waier upon his 
hand, rubs it of with haste, o,nd 
falls on his knees before her, tak- 
ing her hand fearfully.] 
Barbara [timidly]. And can he talk? — 
Piper, Yes, yes. — The maid 's bewil- 

Fear nothing. Thou'rt so dumb, man! — 

Yes, yes, yes. 
Only he kneels; he cannot yet believe. 
Speak roundly to him. — Will you go with 

him? 
He will be gentler to you than a father: 
He would be brothers five, and dearest 

And sweetheart, — ay, and knight and 
serving-man ! 

Barbara. Yes, yes, I know he will. And 
can he talk, too? 

Piper. Lady, you have bewitched him. 

Michael. Oh I dear Lady, 

With you — with you, I dare not ope my 

mouth 
Saving to sing, or pray! 

Piper, Let it be singingi 

Lad, 't is a wildered maiden, with no homo 
Save only thee; and she is more a child 
Than yesterday, 

Michael. Oh, lordly, wondrous world! 
How is it, Sweet, you smile upon me now? 



ecbiGoogle 



Barbara, Sure I have ever smiled on 
thee. How not? 
Art thou not Michael? — And thou loiiest 

And I lone thee! — It I unloved thee ever, 
It waa some spell. — 
[Rapturously]. But this, — ah, TMs is I! 
[Michael, on his knees, wirids hia 
arms about her.] 
Piper [softly]. It is all true, — all true. 
Lad, do not doubt; 
The golden cage is broken. 

Michael. Oh! more strange 

Than morning dreams! 1 am like one new- 

I am a speechless babe. — And this is she, 
My Moon I cried for, — here, — 

Pipes. It is thy bride. 

Michael. Thou wilt not fear to come 

with me? 
Babbaba. With thee? 

With thee! Ah, look. What have 1 more 

than thee? 
And thou art mine, tall fellow I How comes 

it now 
Right happily that I am pranked so fair! 
[She loixhes her fineries, her long 
pearl-slrings, joyously.] 
And all this came so near to burying; 
This! 
Michael. And this dearer gold. 

[Kissing her hair.] 

Barbara. All, all for thee ! — 

[She leans oner in a ■playful rapture 

and hinds her hair about him.] 

Look, — I will be thy garden that we lost, 

Yea, everywhere, — in every wilderness. 

There shall none fright us with a flaming 

sword! 
But I will be thy garden! 

[There is the sound of a herd-bell 
approaching,] 
Pipeb. See, — how the sunlight soon 
shall pour red wine 
To make your marriage-feast ! — And do 

you hear 
That faery bell? — No fear I — 'T is some 

white creature, 
Seeking her whiter iamb. — Go, find our 

And he shall bless you, — as a hermit 
can! 



And be your pledge for shelter. There's the 

[To Michael]. Follow each other, close! 
Michael. Beyond the Sun! 

Piper. A golden afternoon, — and all is 

[He giaes Michael his cloak to 
wrap round Barbaba. They go, 
hand in hand, wp inia the hills. 
The herd-bell sounds softly. — 
The Pipeb cocks his head like a 
squirrel, and listens with delight. 
He watches the two tiU they dis- 
appear; then comes down joy- 
ously.] 
Piper. If you can only catch them while 
they're young! 

[The herd-bell sounds nearer. He 
lets down a water-jar into the well 
again. The nearness of the bell 
startles hitn. He becomes watch- 
ful as a wild creature. It sounds 

voice calls like the wind: " JanI 
Jan! ' ' — The Piper, tense and 
cautious, moves softly doum into 
the shrubbery by the well.] 

VERo;MiKA'a Voice. Jan! 

Piper. Hist! Wto dared? 

Veronika's Voice. . . . Jan! 

Piper. Who dared, I say? 

[Enter Veronika, on the road from Hamelin. 
She is very pale and worn, and drags 
herself along, dittching in her hand a 
herd-hell. She looks about her, holds up 
the iell and shakes it once softly, covering 
U with her firtgers again; then she sits 
wearily down at the foot of the ruined 
shrine, and covers her face, with a sharp 
breath.] 
Veronika. , . . Ah, — ah, — ah ! 

[The Piper watches with breathless 
wonder and faicination. It seems 
to horrify him.] 
VirER [under breath]. That woman! 

[Veronika lifts her head suddenly 

and sees the motion of the bushes.] 

Veronika. He is coming! — He is here! 

[She darls towards the weU. — The 

Piper springs up.) 



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Oh, God of Mercy ! , , , It is only you ! 
Where is he? — Where? — Where are you 
hiding him? 
Piper [confusedly]. Woman . . . what 
do you, wandering, with that bell? 
That herd-bell? 

Vebonika. Oh[ are you man or cloud? 
. . . Where ia my Jan? 
Jan, — Jan, — the little lame one ! He is 



Piper. Surely he lives! 
Vebonika. — Lives! will you S' 
Ah,- 



r it? 



I will belicvel But he ... is not ao strong 
As all the others. 

Piper [opart]. Aie, how horrible ! 
[Taker,] Sit you down here. You cannot go 

While you are yet so pale. Why are you 
thus? 

[She looks at him dislroctedly.] 

Vebonika. You, who have torn the 

hearts out of our bodies 

And left the city like a place of graves, — 

Why am 1 spent? — Ah, ah! — ^ But he's 

Piper [fiercely]. Alive? What else? — 
Why would he not be living? 

Vehonika. I do not know. 

Piper. Do you take me for the Devil? 

Veronika. I do not know. 

Piper. Yet you were not afraid? 

Vebonika. What is there now to fear? 

PipEH [watching her]. Whera are the 
townsfolk? 

VBEomKA, They arc all gone to Ruder- 
sheim . . . 

Piper [stiU watchful]. How so? 

Veronika. Where, for a penance, Bar- 
bara, Jacob's daughter. 
Will take the veil. His one, for all of ours ! 
It will be over now. 

Piper. Have none returned? 

Veronika. I know not; I am searching, 
since the dawn. 

Piper. To-day? 

Vehonika. And every day. 

Piper. That herd-bell, there — 

Why do you bring it? 



Vebonika [so66ine|. Oh, he loves them 

I knew, if he but heard it, he would follow, 
An if he could. Only, the wajTi are rough — 

Piper, No more. I know! 

Veronika. — And he had lost his crutch. 

Piper [like a wounded animal]. Let be. 
You hurt me — 

Veronika. Youl — A man of air? 

Piper. I am no man of air. 

Veronika. — What are you, then? 
Givethenitome, Isay. You have them hid, 
Under a spell. 

Piper [struggling mlh pity]. Yes. 

Veronika. Give them back to me. 

Piper. No. 

Veronkia. But they all . . . are living? 
On thy aoul? 

Piper. — Wilt thou behove me? 

Veronika. And you hold them safe? 

Piper. Safe. 

Vehonika. Shut away? 

Piper. From Ilamelin; forever. 

Vehonika. And are they , . . warm? 

PiPBR, — Yes. 

Veronika. Are they liappy? —Oh, 

That cannot be! — But do they laugh, 
sometimes? 

PiPEB. Yes. 

Vehonika. ^Then you'll give them 
back again! 

PipEB. No, never. 

Veronika [htjlf to herself, dislra-ught be- 
tween suspense andhope.] I must be 
patient. 

PiPEH. Woman, they all are mine. 

I hold them in my hands; they bide with 

What's breath and blood, — what are the 

hearts of children. 
To Hamelin, — while it heaps its money- 
bags? 
Veronika. You oared not for the money. 
Piper. No? — You seem 

A foreign woman. — come from very far. 
That you should know. 

Veronika. I know. I was not born 

There. But you wrong them. There were 

yet a few 
Who would have dealt with you more 

honestly 
Than this Jacobus, or — 



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PiPEB, Or Kurt the Syndic! 

Believe it not. Those two be tongue and 

For the whole town! I know them. And 

that town 
Stands as the will of other towns, a score, 
That maie us wandering poor the things 

It stands for all, unto the end of time. 
That turns this bright world black and the 

With hate, and hoarding; — all- triumphant 

Greed 
That spreads above the roots of all despair, 
And misery, and rotting of the soul I 
Now shall tliey learn — if money-bags can 

What turns the bright world black, and the 

Sun cold; 
And what's that creature that they call a 

child! — 
And what this winged thing men name a 

Never to bind, never to bid be still; 

And what this hunger and this thirst to 

sing, 
To laugh, to fight, — to hope, to be believedf 
And what is truth? And who did make the 

I have to pay for fifty thousand hates, 
Greeds, cruelties; such barbarous tortured 

A tiger would disdain; — for all my kind ! 
Not my one mother, not my own of kin, — ■ 
All, all, who wear the motley in the heart 
Or on the body: — for all eagM glories 
And trodden wings, and sorrows laughed 

to scorn. 
I, — I! — At last, 

Veronika. Ah, me! How can I say: 

Yet make them happier than they let you 

be? 

Piper. Woman, you could I — They 

know not how to be 

Happy ! They turn to darkness and to grief 

All that is made tor joy. They deal with 

Men trap a singing 

eyes, — 
Andcagehimupatidbidhim then tosing^ 



5s the mountains, in the south, 
I thrush, put out his 



Sing before God that made him, — yes, to 
sing! 

I save the children. — Yes, 1 save them, so, 
Save them forever, who shall save the 

Yes, even Hamelin. — 

But for only you, 
What do they know of Children? — Pfui? 

Who knows a treasure, when it is his own? 
Do they not whine: " Five moulha around the 

iMe; 
And a. fn/or harvest. And ricw comes one more! 
God chastens us!" — Kui — 

Veronika [apart, dully], . . . But I must 
be patient. 

PiPEB. You know, you know, that not 
one dared, save you, — 
Dared idl alone, to search this devil's haunt. 

Veronika. They would have died ■ — 

Piper. But never risked their souls! 

That knew I also. 

Veronika. Ah! 

Piper. " YounEfaces," sooth, 

The old ones prate of I — Bah, what is 't 

they want? 
" Some one to work for me, when 1 am old; 
Some one to follow me unto my grave; 
Someone — forme!" Yes, yea. There is 

Old huddler-by-the-fire would shift his seat 
To a cold corner, if it might bring back 
All of T;he Children in one shower of light! 
Veronika. Theold, ah, yes! But not — 
PiPEH. The younger men? 

Aha! Their pride to keep the name alive; 
The name, the name, the little Hameliu 

Tied to the trade; — carved plain upon his 

gravestone ! 
Wonderful ! It your name must chain you, 

To your gaol of a house, your trade you 

hate — why then, 
Best go without a name, like me! — How 

now? 
Woman, — you suffer? 

Veronika. Ah, yet could I laugh. 

Piper, yet could 1 laugh, tor one true 

But not of all men. 



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Piper. Then of whom? 

Vbronika. Of Kurt. 

Pipes. Bah, Kurt the Councillor ! a man 

to curse. 
Vbhonika. He is my husband. 
PiPEK [shorlly]. Thine? I knew it not. 
Thine? But it cannot be. He could not 

father 
That Little Jan, — that Uttle shipwrecked 
Star. 
Vehonika. Oh, then yon love him? You 

will give him back? 
Piper. The son of Kurt? 
Vbronika. No, not his sod ! No, no. 
He is aU mine, aU mine. Kurt's sons are 

straight, 
And ruddy, like Kurt's wife of Hamelin 

Who died before. 
Pipes. And you were wed . , . 

Vbronika. So young. 

It is all like some dream before the sunrise, 
That left me but that little shipwrecked 
Star. 
PiPEB. Why did you marry Kurt the 

Councillor? 
Vbbonika [humbly]. He wanted me. 

Once I was beautiful. 
Piper [ivonderinglyj. What, more than 

Veronika. Mock if you will. 

PlPEK. I mock you! 

Woman, . . . you are very beautiful. 

Vbronika. I meant, with my poor self, 
to buy him house 
And warmth, and softness for his little feet. 
Oh, then 1 knew not, — when we sell our 

hearts. 
We buy us nothing. 

Piper. Now you know. 

Vehonika. I know. 

His dearest home it was, to keep my heart 
Alone and beautiful, and clear and still; 
And to keep all the gladness in my heart. 
That bubbled from nowhere! — for him to 

And to be houseless of all other things. 
Even as the Lonely Man. 

[The PiPEB starts.] 
Where is the child? 
Piper. No; that I will not tell. Only 
thus much: 



1 love thy child. Trust n: 



- 1 love them, 



They are the brightest miracle 1 know. 
Wherever 1 go, I search the eyes of men 
To find such clearness; — and it is not 

Lies, greed and cruelty, and dreadful dark! 
And all that makes Him sad these thousand 

And keeps His forehead bleeding, — Ah, 
you know? 

Vbronika. Whom do you think on? 

Piper. Why, the Lonely Man. — ■ 

But now I have the children safe with me; 
And men shall never teach them what men 

Those radiant things that have no wish at 

all 
Save for what is all-beautiful ! ~ the Rain- 

The Ru nnin g Water, and the Moon, the 

The only things worth having 1 

Vbronika. — ■ Oh, you wi!! not 

Give him to me? 

Piper. How give you yours again, 

And not the others? What a life for him ! 

[She hides her face.] 

And Kurt the Syndic, left without his sons? 

Bah, do notdream of it! What would Kurt 

do?~ 
And hearken here! Should any hunt me 

Take care. Who then could bring the chil- 
dren back? 

Veronika. J ant Jan! 

Piper. He loves me. He is happy. 

Veronika [paesionaiely]. No! 

Without me? — No. 

Called you. 

Veron(ka [staggering]. Ah, ahl . . . 
The spell. — 

Piper [startled]. Nay, now; — rise up 

now, foreign woman. 

Would you not have him cheered? 

Veronika. — O tar-ofi God! 

PiPEB [offering her ivaler]. Drink here. 

Take heart. O Woman, they must 

'T is better so. No, no, I mock thee not. 
Thou toldest all about me hke the Dark 



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=S9 



That holds the stars. I would I were thy 
child. 

Vbsonika. But I will find him. I will 

find him — 
Piper. No, 

It must not be! Their life is bound with 

If 1 be harmed, they perish. Keep that 

Vebonika [passionately]. My longing 

will bring back my Own. 
PiPEE. Ah, long not Bo. 
Vbrosika, Yes, it will bring him back! 
He breathes. And I will wish him home to 

Till my heart break 1 

Pepeh. Hearts never break in Hamelin. 
Go, then; and teach those other ones to 

long; 
Wake up those dead ! 

Vebonikla. Peace. I shall draw him 

PiPEB. Not till he cries for thee. 
Veronika. Oh, that will be 

Piper [gently]. Remember, — if one 
word of thine 
Set on the hounds to track me down and 

They would be lost forever; they would 

They, who are in my keeping. 

Vebonika. Yea, I hear. 

But he will come . . . oh,hewilicometo me, 

[She goes, haltingly, and diaappeaTs 
along the read to HaTitelin. — 
The PiPBR, alone, stands epell- 
boimd, breathing hard, and look- 
ing after her. Then he turns his 
head and comes down, doggedly. 
Again he pauses. With a sudden 
sharp effort he turns, and crosses 
with passionate appeal to the 
shritte, his arm uplifted towards 
the carven Christ as if he warded 
off some acctisation. His speech 
comes in a torrent.] 
Piper. I wili not, no, I wiU not. Lonely 
Man I 
I have them in my hand. I have them all — 



All — all I And I have lived unto this day. 
You understand . . . 

[He waits as ij for some reply.] 

You know what men they are. 

And what have they to do with such as 

these? 
Think of those old as death, in body and 

Hugging their wretched hoardings, in cold 

Of mofch and rust ! — While these miracu- 
lous ones. 
Like golden creatures made of sunset- 
Go out forever, — every day, fade by 
With music and wild stars! — Ah, but You 

The hermit told me once, You loved them, 

But I know more than he, how You must 

love them; 
Their laughter, and their bubbling, skylark 

To cool Your heart. Oh, listen, Lonely 
Man! — 

Oh, let me keep them I I will bring them to 
You, 

Still nights, and breathless mornings; they 
shall touch 

Your hands and feet with all their swarm- 
ing hands, 

Like showering petals warm on furrowed 
ground, — 

All sweetness ! They will make Thee whole 

With love. Thou wilt look up and smile on 



Why not? I know — the half — You will 

lie saying. 
You will be thinking of Your Mother. — 

Ah, 
But she was different. She was not as they. 
She was more like . . . this one, the wife ot 

Kurt! 
Of KurtI No, no; ask me not this, not this! 
Here is some dawn of day for Hamelin, — 

'T is hearts of men You want. — 
Not greed and carven tombs, not misers' 
candles; 



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No offerings, more, from men that feed on Old Urscla. No, no. They'll never 

come. 1 told ye so. 
They all are gone. There wiJl be nothing 

young 
To follow us to the grave. 

OiJ» Glaus. No, no, — not one ! 

[The Minsier-dooT opens, and out come cer- 
tain of the townsfolk from, early truss. 
They look ■unnaturally old and culorkss. 
Their steps lag drearily. — Hans the 
Butcher and his wife; Axel the Smith 
with his wife, and Pbtbb the Cobbler, 
meet, on their way to the little street, left, 
and greet one another with painstaking, 
sirieken kindness. They speak in broken 



Eternal paalma and endless cruelties! , . . 
Even from now, there may be hearts in 

Hamelin, 
Once stabbed awake! 

[He pleads, defends, excases pas- 
sionately; before his mil gives 
way, as the arrow flies from the 
bow-string,] 

— / uitH not give them back.' 
And Jan, — for Jan, that little one, that 

dearest 
To Thee, and me, hark, — he is wonderful. 
Aak it not of me. Thou dost know I cannot I 

Look, Lonely Man! You shall have alt of us 
To wander the world over, where You stand 
At all the crossways, and on lonely hills, - 
Outside the churches, where the lost on< 

go! — 
And the wayfaring men, and thieves an 

wolves 
And lonely creatures, and the ones that 

sing! 
We will show all men what we hear and see ; 
And we will make Thee lift Thy head, and 



ACT IV 

Scene. Hamelin market-place. It is 
early tnoming; so dark that only a bleak twi- 
light glimmers in the square; the liltk streets 
are dim. Everywhere gloom and stillness. In 
the house of Kurt, beside the Minster, there is 
one vrindow-ligkl behind a curtain in the 
second story. At the casements, down right 
and left, sit Old Glaus and Old Ubsula, 
wan and motionless as the dead. The church- 
bell, Uifticft likewise seems to have aged, croaks 
softly, twice. Peteb the Sacristan stands by 
the bell-rope. 



:s.] 

Hans the Butcher. Well, well — 
Axel the Smith. God knows! 

[The bell sounds.] 
Hans the Butcher. Neighbor, how fare 
your knees? 

lAxEL smooths his right leg and 

gives a jerk of pain. They all 

moBe stiffly.] 

Ax^i. the Smith. I'm a changed man, 

Hans the Butcher. Peter the Sacristan, 

Give by the bell! It tolls like — Oh, well, 



Axel the Smith. It does no good, it does 
no good at all. 

Peter tite Cobbler, Bather, I do believe 
it mads the demons; 
And I have given much thought — 

Axel the Smith. Over thy shoes! 

'Peter the Cobbler [modestly.] To demons. 

Axel's Wife. Let him chirp philosophy ! 
He had no children. 

Peteh the Cobbter [wagging his head sol- 
emnly]. I'm an altered man. 
Now were we cot proceeding soberly. 
Singing a godly hymn, and all in tune, 
But yesterday, when we passed by — 

Ha.ns' Wife. Don't say it! 

Don't name the curseful place. 

Hanb the Butcher. — And my poor head, 
It goes round yet; — around, around, 

around, 
As I were new ashore from the high 

Still dancing — dancing — 
Axel the Smith. Neighbor, say no more. 



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96l 



Hans the Butcher. Even as ye heard, the 
farmer'a yokel found me 
Clasping a tree, and praying to stand still! 
AxBL the Smith. Ay, ay, — but that is 

nought. 
Peter (Ae Cobbler. All nought beside. 
Hans' WirE. Better we had the rats and 
mice again, 
Though they did eat us homeless, — if we 

All starve together I — Oh, my Hans, my 

Peter the Cobbler. Hope not, good souls. 

Rest sure, they will not come. 
Axel's Wipe. Who will say that? 
Peter (fie C<Mler [discreetly]. Not I; but 
the Inscription. 

[He points to the Rathaus wall.] 
Axel (fie Smith. Of our own making? 
Peter the CotAter. On the Rathaus wall ! 
At our own bidding it was made and 

■ graved; — 
How, — on that day and down this very 

He led them, — he, the Wonderfully- 

clothed, 
The Strange Man, with his pipingi 

[They cross themselves.] 
And they went, — 
And never came again. 

Hans' Wife. But they may come 1 

Peter (fie Cobbler [pityingly]. Marble is 

final, woman; — nay, poor soul! 

When once a man be buried, and over him 

The stone doth say Hie Jaeet, or Here Lies, 

When did that man get up? — There is the 

They come no more, for piping or for prayer; 
Until the trump of the Lord Gabriel. 
And if they came, 't is not in Hamelin 

To alter any stone, so graven. — Marble 
la final. Marble has the last word, ever. 
[Groans from the burghers.] 
Hans the Butcher. O httle Ilsel — Ohl 
and Lump — poor Lump ! 
More than a dog could bearl — More than 
adog — 

IThey all break (town. The Shoe- 
maker consoles them.] 
Peter th« Cobbler. Bear up, sweet neigh- 
bors. — We are all but dust. 



No mice, no children. — Hem! And now 

Jacobus, — 
His child, not even safe with Holy Church, 
But last and God knows where 1 
Axel's Wife. Bewitched, — bewitched ! 
[Hans and his wife, arm in arm, 
turn left, lotoards their house, 
peering ahead.] 
Hans' WiFG. Kind saints! Me out and 
gone to early mass. 
And all this mortal church-time, there's a 

A candle burning in the casement there; — 
Thou wasteful man! 
'Q.Kiis (he Butcher [huskily]. Come, come! 
do not be chiding. 
Suppose they came and could not see their 

Suppose — O wife! — I thought they'd 

love the light! 
I thought — 

"PwsEntheCobbler. Ay,nowI Andthere's 
another light 
In KiLit the Syndic's house. 

[They turn and look up. Other 
burghers join tiie group. Allvralk 
lamely and look the picture of 

Axel's Wife. His wife, poor thing, 
The priest is with her. Ay, for once, they 

say, 
Kurt's bark is broken. 

Olij Ursula. There will be nothing 
young 
To follow us to the grave. 

Axel's Wife. They tell, she seems 
Sore stricken since the day that she was 

lost, 
Lost, searching on the mountain. Since 

that time. 
She will be saying nought. She stares and 
smiles. 
Hans' Wife. And reaches out her arms, 

— poor soul ! 
All. Poor soul ! 

[Murmur in the distance. They do 

Axel the Smith [To the Butcher]. That 
was no foolish thought of thine, yon 
candle, 
I do remember now as I look back. 
They always loved the lights. My Rudi there 



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Would aye be meddling witii my 

tinder-box. 
And once I — Oh ! [Choking.] 

Axel's Wife [sootkingly]. Now, now! 

thou didst not hurt himl 
'T waa 1 1 Oh, once — 1 shut him in the 

Axel the Smith. Come home . . . and 

light the candles. 

Pbteb the Cobbler. In the day-time ! 

Axel's Wife. Oh, it is dark enough! 

Axel the Smith, Lord knows, who made 

Both night and day, one of 'em needs to 

But nothing does ! — Nothing is daylight 

Come, wife, we'll light the candles. 

[Exit wilk his wife.] 
Feteh the Cobbler. He's a changed man. 
Pbteb (fie Samsion, God help us, what's 
to do? 

ITumult approaching. Shouts of 
" Jacobus " and " Barbara."] 
Hark! 
Hans' Wife. NeighborsI 

Han3 the Butcher. Hark! Hark! 

[Axel and his wife Teenier hastily; AsEL 
rusfies towards the noise.] 
Axel's Wife, Oh, I hear somethingi 

Can it be — 
Peter (fie Cobbkr. They're shouting. 
Hans the Butcher. My iambs, — my 
lambs ! 
[Axel reenters, crestfallen.] 
AxEij the Smith. "T is naught — but 
Barbara 1 
His — his! 

[Shaking his fist at the house of 
Jacobus.] 
Peter lite Smith [calling]. Jacobus ! 

[The others are stricken with dis- 
appointment.] 
Hans the Butcher. Wife, — 't is none of 

Axel Ike Smith. Let him snore onl — 

The only man would rather 

Sleep late than meet his only child again ! 

Peteb ifie Cobbler [deprecatingly]. No 

man may parley with the gifts ot 

Fortune! [Knocking on the door.] 

Jacobus! 



[Enter, at the rear, with a straggling crowd, 
Babbaba and Michaei,, both radiant 
and resalute. She wears the long green 
cloak over her bridal array. Jacobub 
appears in his doorway, nightcapped 
and fur-gowned, shrinking from the hos- 
tile crowd. The people n, 



Barbara I — She that was be- 

And who's the man? la it the 
Piper? No! 

No, no — some stranger. Bar- 
bara ! Barbara 's home ; — 

gave her up ! — Who 



s then 



n? 



Jacobus. My daughter! 'T is my 
daughter, — found — restored ! 
Oh, heaven is with us! 
Ali, [sullenly]. Ah! 

Jacobus. Child, where have you been? 
All. Ay, where, Jacobus? 

[He is dismayed.] 
Jacobus. Who is this man? — Come 

Barbara [mUiout approaching him, lift- 
ing her face clearly]. Good-morning 
to you, father! We are wed. 
Michael, — shall I go hither? 

[The townsfolk are atnazed.] 
Jacobus. She is mad! 

She is quite mad, — my treasure. 

Peter the Cobbler. Let her speak. 

Maids sometimes marry, even in Hamelin. 
t Ay, tell us! 
Who is he? Barbara? 
Art thou mad? — How came ye 
[ hither? 
Jacobus. Who is he? 
Barbara. Michael. 

Peteb the Cobbler. "I is the Sword- 
Eater! 
A friend o" the Piper's I — Hearken — 
All. She's bewitched! 

Hans' Wife. This is the girl was vowed 
to Holy Church, 
For us and for our children that are 
lost! 
Barbara. Ay, and did any have a mind 

When I was lost? Left dancing, and dis- 
traught? 






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THE PIPER 



All. We could not. We were spell- 
bound. Nay, we could not. 

Jacobus [sagely, after Uie others]. We 
could not. 

Barbara. Sol — But there was one who 

There was one man. And this is he. 

{Turning to Michael.) 
And I, 
1 am no more your Barbara, — 1 am his. 
And I will go with him, over tie world. 
I come to say farewell. 

Jacobus. He hath bewitched herl 

Michael. Why didweevercomeT Poor 
darUng one, 
Thy too-much duty hath us in a trap! 
Axel the Smith. No, no ! — Fair play ! 
Others. Don't let them go! We have 

Peter the Cobbler. Hold what ye have. 
Be 't children, rats or mice I 

[HiMubwitkout, and shouts. Some 
of the burgheTs hasten out aftm 
this fresh excitement. Jacobus 
is cowed. Barbara and Mi- 
chael are startled. The shouts 
turn savage. The uproar grows. 
Sh^ruls tif "Ay, there he is! We 
have him! We haiie him! Help 
— help! HoldfaatI Ah! Piper! 
Piper! Piper! "] 
How now? What all! — 

[The cro!ed parts to admit the 
Piper, haled hither with shouts 
artd pelting, by Martin the 
Watch and other men, all breath- 
less. His eyes bum.] 
Michael Iapar(]. Saveus! — Theyhave 

Martin [gaspingly]. Help ! 

Mark ye — I caught him! — Help, and 
hold him f aft I 
Piper. I came here, — frog! 
Martin. Ay, he were coming on; 

And after him a squirrel, hopping close! 
Second Man. As no man ever saw a 
squirrel hop — 
Near any man from Hamelin! And I 

Martin. And it was he; and all we rush 
upon him — 
And take him ! 



263 

Piper. Loose thy claws, I tell thee! — 

[ 'Ware ! 
All. \ Mercy I 

I Let him go I 

[Their cries turn into an uproar 

of rage and desperation. They 

surge and fall back between fury 

and fear. Hans tfie Butcher, 

brolcen with hope, cries, "Loose 

him! Let him speak!" — The 

Piper shalces himself free. — He 

sees Barbara and Michael 

for the first time and recoils 

with ainazement. Barbara sleys 

towards him. — It is to be 

understood in the following 

pages, where the crowd speaks, 

that only a general consensus 

of meaning comes out of the 

uproar.] 

Barbara. Oh, let him go, — let be. His 

heart is clear, 

As water from the well ! 

[The Piper gazes at her, open- 
mouthed,] 
I She talks in her sleep ! 
All. -I The maid's bewitched! 

I Now, will ye hear? 
Axel's Wife. He piped and made thee 

dance! 
Peter the Cobbler. 'T was he bewitched 

Axel. He piped away our children and 

Old Ursula. I told ye so ! — ay, ay I 

Old Glaus. I told ye sol 

Barbara. He piped; — and all ye 

danced and fled away! 

He piped; — and brought me back my 

wandering wits, 
And gave me safe unto my Love again, — 
My Love I had forgotten. . . . 
Piper. So! 

Michael [with conviction]. Truly said. 
Bahbara [proudly], Michael. 

Jacobus. Who is he, pray? 
Barbara. My own true love. 
Peter the Cobbler. Now, is that all his 

name? 
Bahhara. It is enough. 
Jacobus. — She's mad. Shall these 
thinee be? 



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f The Children! The Childrenl 
AllJ Where are the Childrm? 

[ Piper! Piper! Piper! 
Piper [sternly]. Quiet yoa. And hear 

I came to bring good tidings. In good faith, 
Of mine own wiU, I came. — Aud like a 

thief 
You haled me hither. — 

[They hang upon kis words.] 
. . . Your children — live. 

i Thank God I I knew, I knew ! 
We could not think them lost. 
Bewitched! Oh, but they live! — ■ 
Piper ! — O Piper f 
Peter ifie Co66ic!", They're spell-bound, 

PiPEB. Ay, they are, — spell-bound; 
Fast bound by all the hardness of your 

hearts; 
Caged, — in the irott of your money-lust — ■ 
' "" lo.notall! NotI! Not mine, 



All. J 






[ No, no. — it 



lel 



i not true. 



Piper. Your blasphemies, — your cun- 
ning and your Pear, 
f No, nol — What can we do? 
All.{ News, Piper, news I 

I — The Children! 
Piper, Now hear me. You did make 
Jacobus swear 
To give his child. — What reeks it, how he 

lose her ? — ■ 
Ether to Holy Churcli — against her will! 
Or to this man, — so that he give her up ! 
He awore to you. And she hath pledged her 

faith. 
She ia fast wed. — Jacobus sliall not have 






Piper. Then she who w 
bara" doth wed 

Michael-the- Sword-Eater, 
shall stand. 

Shall it? 



she. 






f It stands. 

1 Ay, ay ! 
Piper. Your word! 

, (We swear. We answer tor him. 
•■^iSomuchfor Jaeobual 



Axel the Smith. An' if yon fellow like an 
honest trade, 
I'll taie him ! — I'll make swords! 

[Cheers. Michael is happy.} 
All. Quick, quick! — Our children. — 

Piper ! — Tell us all ! 
Piper. 'T is well begun. — Now have 1 



There if 
The first. 






! child 1 may bring back to 



All [in an upTcar]. 



Ours! — : 

them! K 

Mine — ■ 






Piper [unmoved], — Oh, Hamelin to the 

Which of you longed the most, and dared 

the most? 
Which of you ^ 

[He searches the crowd anxiously 
with kis eyes.] 
'V.llll 

We searched the hills! 
We prayed four days I 
Wc fasted twenty hours — 
Mine! Mine! 

PiPBR. Not yet. — They all do live 

Under a spell, — deep in a hollow hill. 
They sleep, and wake; and lead a charmed 

life. 
But first of all, — one child shaU come 
again. [He scans the crowd still,] 

Where is the wife — of Kurt, the Coun- 
cUlor? 
All [savagHyy No, mine, mine, mine! 
Martin's Wife. What, that lame boy 

of hers? 
Piper. Where is the wife of Kurt? 
Peteh the Cobbler and Others.^ Ver- 
onika? 
The foreign woman? She is lying ill: 
Sore-stricken yonder — 

[Pointing to the house.] 
Piper [gladly]. Bid her come, look out! 
[The crowd moves amf-usedly to- 
wards Kurt's house. The Piper 
too approaches, calling.] 
Ho, — ho, within there! 



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IAnsglm, the priest, appears in the doorway 
witk uplifted hand, commanding silence. 
He is pale and stern. At sight of his face 
the Piper falters.l 

Ansblm. Silence here! — ^ Good people, 
What means this! 

Piper. I have tidings for — the wife 
Of Kurt — the Councillor. 

Ansblm. You are too iate. 

PiPBR. Bid her — look out I 

Anselm [sidemjily]. Her soul is passing, 

\The Piper /d/is back stricken and 
speechless. — The crowd, seeing 
kirn humanly overwhelmed, grows 
brave.] 
Martin's Wipe. 'T is he has done it I 
Hans the Butcher. — Nay, it is God's 
will. 
Poor Boul ! 

Peter (Ae Sacristan [fearfully]. Don't 
anger himi 'T was Kurt the SjTidic 
With his bad bargain. 

AxEi, the Smith. Do not cross the Piper! 

Martin. Nay, but he's spent. He's 

nought to tear. — Look there. 

Mark now he breathes ! Upon hint I Help, 

help, ho ! — 
Thou piping knave! 

Otheks. Tie — chain him ! — Kill him ! 
Kill him! 

{They surround him. lie tfirusts 
them off.] 
Pbtbr the I Bind him, but do not kill 
Cobbler andl him 1 — Oh, beware ! 
Others. I What is he saying? — Peace. 
Piper [brokerdy]. The wife of Kurt ! 
Off! what can you do? — Oh! I came, I 

Here, full of peace, and with a heart of 

To give — but now that one live Soul of all 
Is gone! — No, no I 

— / say she shall not die! 
She ahaU not.' 
AnsbijU. Hush ! — She is in the hands of 
God. 
She is at peace. 

Piper. No, never! I*t me by ! 

[Ansblm bars the threshold and 
steps out.] 



Anselm. Thou troward fool ! — Wouldst 
rend with tears again 
That shriven breath? And drag her back 

to sorrow? 
It istlie will of God. 
Pipes. — And I say No! 

Anselm. Who dare dispute — 
PlPKR. I dare ! 

Anselm. With death? — With God? 
Piper. I know His will, for once! She 
shall not die. 
She must come back, and Uve ! — Veronika! 
[He calls up to the lighted window. 
The people stand aghast: An- 
selm bars the threshold.] 
I comti, I come ! I bring your Own to you ! 
Listen, Veronika I 

[He feels for his pipe. Itisgone. — 
His face shmvs dismay, for a 
moment.] 

Where? — Where ? 
He's lost the pipe. — He's 

hiding it! — 
He cannot pipe them back I 't 

is gone — 't is gone. — 
No, 't is to save his life. It is 
, for time. 
Piper [to himself]. — 'T is but a voice. 
What matter? — 

f Seize him — 
Bind him! 
Piper [to them]. Hush! 

{Passionately he stretches his arms 
towards the vnndow.] 
Anselm. Peace, for this parting Soul! 
Piper [witk^ed eyes]. It shaU not go. 
[To the Window.] Veronika! ^ Ah, listen! 

— wife of Kurt. 
He comes . . . he comes! Open thine eyes a 

moment! 
Blow the faint fre within thy heart. He 

comesi 
Thy longing brings him; — aj-, and mine, — 

Heed not these grave-makers, Veronika. 
Live, live, and laugh once morel — Oh! 

do you hear? 
Look, how you have to waken all these 

That walk about you! — Open their dim 

Sing to them with your heart, Veronika, 









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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



As I am piping, far away, outaide ! 
Waken them, — change them ! Show them 

how to long, 
To reach their arms as you do, for the stars, 
And fold them in. Staybutonemoment; — 

And thine own Child shall draw thee back 



Oh, do youlistenf — DonottTyinansvKr. — 
I hear I — I hear, , , . 

\A faint sound of piping comes from 
the distance. — The Piper is 
first watchful, then radiant. — 
The burghers are awe-struck, as 
it sounds nearer.] 
Bakbara. Listen I — 
MiCHAS!/. His very tune. 

[The Piper faces front wiUi fixed, 

triumphant ej/es above the crouid.] 

Martin's Wife. O Lord, have mercy! — 

The Pipe is coming to him, through the air! 

All. 'T ia coming to the Piper; — wc 

are lost. — 

The Pipe is coming, coming through the 

[The Piper, vnth a ludden gesture, 
commands sdertce. He bounds 
arvay (centre), and disappears. 
The people, spell-bound with ter- 
ror, murmur and pray.\ 
Anselm. Retro me, Sothanoi' 

[Kurt the Syndic appears on the thret,hold 
behind Anselm, whose arm he touches 
whispering. — Tkeir facer, are ivonder 
struck with hope and awe ] 
Hanb the Butcher [to iAe others pointing] 
T is Kurt the Syndic. 
Axel the Smith. Then she lives ! — 
Hans' Wife. Iiook there! 

Others. Look, look! The casement! . . . 
[The casement of the lighted window 
opens mde and slowly.] 

[Reenter the Piper with Jan in his arms. 
The little boy holds the Pipe, and smiles 
about with tranquil happiness. The 
Piper, radiant wilk joy, lifts him high, 
looking towards Vbronika's vnndow.—' 
The awe-struck people point to the open 



Axel the 
Smith, Han8 
the Butcher, 



casement. Veronika's two white hands 
reach out; then she herself appears, pale, 
shining vrith ecstasy,] 

Jan. 'T is Mother! 

[The Piper lifts him still before the 
wiTtdow, gazing up. Then he 
sptings upon the bench (outside 
the lower window) and gives Jan 
into the arme of Vebonixa. — 
KcRT and Anselm bow their 
heads. A hush. — Then Jan 
looks dovm from the window- 

PiPEB [to him, smiling wisely]. And all 

the others? 
Jan. They were all asleep. 

Piper. I '11 waken them 1 

[He lakes his pipe. — An uproar of 
joy among the burghers,] 

'Bring lights, — bring 

lights! 
Oh, Piper — Oh, my 

lamhs! — 
The children!— The chil- 

[Some rusk, out madly; others go 
into their houses for lights; some 
are left on their knees, weeping 
for joy. The FiTER sounds a few 
notes; then lifts his hand and 
listens, smiling. — Uproar in the 
distance. — A great barking of 
dogs; — shouts and cheers; then 
the high, sweet voices of the Chil- 
dren. The piping is drowned in 
cries of joy. The sun comes out, 
still rosy, in afhod of light. The 
crowd rushes in. Fat burghers 
hug each other, and laugh and 
cry. They are all younger. Their 
faces bloom, as by a miracle. The 
Children pour in. Some are 
carried, some run hand-in-hand. 
Everywhere women embrace their 
own. — Kurt has his sons. — 
Cheat-the -Devil conies, uiiih a 
daisy-chain around hia neck, all 
smiles. An uproar of light and 

Hans the Butcher. The treasure for the 



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THE PIPER 



267 



era! 
Piper. Give them Michael there, 

For all us three. I hate to carry things; — 
Saving out one ! 

IHe waves his hand to Jan in the 
window. — Vehonika appears 
behind him, shining with new life. 
Jan kana out and poinls to the 
ffrmtnd.] 

H^a! What now? — 
[Picking up one of Jan's winged 
shoes.] 
Hans' Wife. Look! Look! — 

And wings upon it ! Mercy, what a 

Don't give it back. — The child will fly 

PiPBR. No, no I 

[LooMng up at the window sooth- 
ingly.] 

He only wanted one to show — 
Jan. To Mother! — See. 

[Showing her his other foot, joy- 



Piper [to him]. And this, - 
Here — with — 



wilt leave it 



Jan. The Lonely Man! Oh, make Him 

[The Piper crosses to the Shrine, 

with the mile shoe, and hangs U 

wp there; then he lurne toicards 

the window, waving his hand.] 

Children. Where are you going? , . . 

[They run and cling.] 

PiPEB. Ah, the high-road nowl 

Children. Oh! why? 

PipiiH. I have to find somebody there. 

les, now and every day, and everywhere 

The wide world over. — 80: good-night, 

good-morning, 
Good-by! There's so much piping left to 

do,— 
I must be off, and pipe. 

Children. Oh! why? 

Piper. 1 promised. 

Childhen. Who is it? 

PiPKR. Why, — the Lonely Man. 

[He waves Uiem farewell, and goes. 
The Children dance and laugh 
and sparkle. Through the hun- 
dred sounds of joy, there comet a 
far-off piping.] 



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cb, Google 



THE YELLOW JACKET 

A CHINESE PLAY DONE IN A CHINESE MANNER 

IN THREE ACTS 

By GEORGE C. HA2ELTON AND BENRIMO 



cb, Google 



PfoticUdinaUfordincou 


■alries t 


mdaUrigkU.iHdi. 


iding oiliag. moving pic 


licalioa, risiTsed by Ihe 




:. R^p,i,iUd by , 




me«l wilh Iki aulkors at 


Id thiir 


Amttkan pMh 


has. The Bobbi-Mim 



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B. C. H. AND K. E. B. 



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FOREWORD 

The purpose of the creators of this play is to string oa a thread of universal philosophy, 
loveandlaughterthe jade beads ofChineae theatrical convention. Their efYort has been 
to reflect the spirit rather than the substance. To do this, the property man had to be 
overwrought; the Chorus had to be introduced. Signs usually indicate the scenes on the 
Oriental stage; the Chorus voices them for us. 

While the story of The Yellow Jacket is not taken from any direct source, it is 
hoped that it may convey an imaginative suggestion of all sources and reflect the child- 
hood of drama. 

It might be said in a Chinese way that scenery is as big aa your imagination. 

Primitive people the world over begin to build their drama like the make-believe of 
children, and the closer they remain to the make-believe of children the more significant 
and convincing is the growth of their drama. 

The AorHORS 



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TO THE POETS 

To these you have restored their heritage: 
To humor — loveliness! to undefiled 

Passion — its splendor; to our native stage 
Enchantment and the rapture of a child. 

Peecy Mackats 



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CHARACTERS 

Property man 

CHORtia 

Wu Sin Yin {Great Sound Language), Governor of the PTomnce 

Due Jukg Fah (Fuchsia Flower), second wife of Wu Sin Yin 

Tso (Fancy Beauty), maid to Dub Jung Fah 

Chbe Moo (Kind Mother), first wife of Wu Sin Yin 

Tai Fah Min (Great Painted Face), father of Dub Jung Fah 

Assistant property men 

SuEY Sin Fah (Lily Flower), mife of Ljqe Sin and maid of the first wife, 

Chee Moo 
Lee Sin (First Farmer) 
Ling Won (Spirit) 
Wu Fah Din (Daffodi!) 
Yin Suey Gong (Purveyor of Hearts) 
Wu Hoo Git (Young Hero of the Wu Family), destined for the Yellow 

Jacket 
See Quoe Fah (Four-Season Flower) 
Mow Dan Fah (Peony). 
YoNG Soo Kow (Hydrangea) 
Chow Wan (Au umn Cloud) 

MoY Fah Loy (Plum Blossom), daughter of Tai Chah Shoong 
See Noi (Nurse), in charge o/Plum Blossom 
Tai Chah Shoong (Purveyor of Tea to the Emperor) 
The Widow Chi kg 

Git Hok Gah (Philosopher and Scholar) 

KoM Loi (Spider) 

Loy Gong (God of Thunder) 



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THE YELLOW JACKET 
ACT I 



At the rise of the theater curtain hive silk 
draperies are disclosed, embroidered with gold 
dragons, forming a tableau curtain. These 
draperies are arranged to part in the center. 
When drawn, they hang in gracefvl folds en 
each side of the stage. The property man 
enters indifferently from the opening at center 
of curtain, strikes thrice on. a gong and exits. 
The CBOKt)B,Uienenlera,biAi>s right, left, and 
center. His costume is thai of a rich Chinese 
seholaT, the dominant note being red. His 
manner is most dignified. His actions are 
ceremonious. 

Choiws. Most honorable neighbors, the 
bows, which I ho humbly and solemnly di- 
vest myself of, are given in reverence to the 
three powers — Heaven — Earth — Man, 
I have been appointed by my humble 
brothers of the Pear Tree Garden to con- 
duct you through a story of our celestial 
land to be played upon, our most unworthy 
stage. Permit me to thank that vice of cu- 
riosity which beckoned you hither that we 
might paint before your august eyes our 
humble fancy. I bow. (Bows three times.] 

Let me intrude a slight history of our 
most unworthy theater and the reason that 
we refer to our players as brothers of the 
Pear Tree Garden. A most curious tale — 
our beginning ! It had its birth in the 
dynasty of the most wholesome one, the 
great Ming Wang. In reverence for so 
glorious a beginning we have kept our stage 
ever the same. For this antiquity, august 
and honorable, we ask indulgence. The 
good and honored Ming Wang, Son of 
Heaven and of glorious memory, was vis- 
ited by an enchanted dream — full of 
Strange beauty. In sleep he rambled over 
the moon. When the morning lifted his 
eyelids he wished his wife to behold the 
dream-painted beauties which had joyed 



his sleep. The Court, at his command, 
clothed in the glory of his dream, played 
the story of his moon-colored fancy be- 
neath the pear trees of his summer palace - 
yard tor her he loved. While 1 fill up time 
with many words, my brothers are burning 
costly incense before the God of the The- 
ater who, they hope, will bountifully an- 
swer their prayer and make them worthy 
to win your approval. Much of our acting 
will be strange. Our play deals with 
mother's love, the love of youth, and the 
hate of men, which makes them do un- 
happy things. Spirits of those who once 
walkcid flowery or pestilent paths in this 
world will reach out their hands to sufferers 
in our history. We hope out of our imper- 
fect efforts there may come to you some 
pleasure. I tear I have intruded too long 
upon your welcome and that you are in 
hastefor my brothers to begin. They, too, 
are impatient, for the perfume of their sac- 
rifice even now floats upon the august air. 

Men will speak fair words with black- 
ened minds. That you may not be carried 
away by their wiles, we have enmasked 
them with paint — red, white and black — 
that you may kn w th m but they will 
never know th t j k w that their souls 
are mirrored n th f ce for men look 
many times t see th msel as they are 
pleased to se th m I It is mostly so 

with villains. Asp npt f my brothers, 
I will be eve bef u t h Ip you to an 

understanding f ur domgs. For so much 
kind patience as you have shown, I give 
you thanks and shall tell my brothers. 

[Bmas three times.\ 

Observe well with your eyes and listen 
well with your cars. Be as one family, ex- 
ceedingly happy and content. Heaven has 
no mouth. It makes men apeak for it. 

[BeOs.] 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



The gusts of Heaven breathe on the bells 
and they tinkle with joy on the eaves of 
the pagoda. 

Ere departing my footsteps hence, let 
me impress upon you that my property 
man is to your eyes intensely invisible. 

IProperli/ man now comes before 
cwUiin again. Strikes gong and 

[Claps kis hands three limes; cur- 
tains paTt, revenling a set in dull 
orange with green and gold Irim- 
tnings. There are iiDo doors, one 
stage left for entrance and one 
stage right for exit. In the center 
at the bdcfc is an oval opening 
surrounded by a grill, wilhin 
which the musicians sit. Above 
this opening is another, square in 
form, which represents Heaven. 
About the vxdls of the scene are 
Chinese banners and signs of 
good cheer. Huge lartlerns hong 
from aboiie. At the lefl is a large 
property box, and above it are 
chairs, ttriites, cushions, etc., m 
fact all properties used in the 
play. Chorus (ofces his seat up 
center. Music] 
'T is the palace of Wu Sin Yin, the 
Oreat, a most unhappy man, for he pos- 
sesses two wives. He comes, Wu Sin Yin, 
the Great. 

[The gong sounds and the cymbals 
crash; the curtain on door left is 
pulled aside.] 

[Enter Wtr Sin Yin. He comes down stage, 
then walks to right, then to center, turns 
(twee round, and seats himself. The 
properly man assists kim to arrange his 
costume, then smokes complacently. 
Wu Sm Yin gazes solemnly before him; 
his whole action on entrance is con- 
sciously done to display kis costume; 
when seated he spreads his legs and turns 
out his toes, displays his finger-nails on 
his left hand, turn o/icAicA are very long, 
one being gilded and the other colored 
green; he fans himse^; during this busi- 
ness the orchestra plays, the cynAals 



crash, the drum rolls and the wooden 
block is sttjwk. The cymbals ore struck 
also, when he mentions the name of the 
Emperor.] 

Wtj Sjn Yin. I am the most important 
personage in this play. Therefore, I ad- 
dress you first. By your gracious leave, 
with many apologies, I will state in all 
modesty, for your edification only, for of 
course I know who 1 am and how great and 
august I am, while you are not so favored, 
that I am Wu Sin Yin, the Great. 1 have 
the third eye of wisdom here. I shape the 
destiny with my finger-tips of the people 
on the Yangtsekiang. [Sits in great stale 
fanned by allendant.] I would bow to you, 
but it is beneath my dignity. My wives 
kotow to me in abject slavery, which is as 
it should be with wives. This is my sun- 
kissed palace on the purple hill. Here by 
seal and by the red pencil on a yellow silken 
banner, I hold my court and issue my 
edicts. Here the .abject subjeeffl of my 
province crawl to bring me the harvest of 
their labors, tor it is decreed by the Son 
of Heaven, our Celestial Emperor, of the 
Eighth Dynasty Irises and bows three times], 
that they bring me the fruits of their slav- 
ish menial toil. With all this felicity of 
personal importance, I am still ai^;ust!y 
unhappy, for I possess two wives — ■ a first 
wife and a second wife. Ohe« Moo, the 
first wife, has a child crab-like and spider- 
formed. It was her mistake, not mine. I 
have a right divine to like or dislike my 
wives at pleasure. Happiness is necessary 
to a great governor in order that his menials 
may be happy by reflection, as I am in the 
presence of my second wife, Due Jung Fah, 
who shines in the light of my favor. I must, 
in august sympathy for my situation, deli- 
cately dispose of the first wife and crooked 
child — very delicately — for Ghee Moo's 
family is powerful ; and, if I beheaded her 
uneouthly, they might be annoyed. 1 must 
contrive a secret and respectful and cour- 
teous departure tor her honorable soul. 
Then I may pass my hours in celestial bliss 
with Due Jung Fat, my beautiful second 
one. How shall I accomplish it? I am ad- 
monished of the approach of my honored 



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THE YELLOW JACKET 



2J7 



second father-in-law, Tai Fah Min, who is 
wisely virtuous and wil! advise me. 

[On exit curtain at right door is 
lifted and the orchestra plays un- 
til the curtain faUs. The prop- 
erty man removes the chair and 
places it left among other prop- 
erties.] 
Chorus. 'T is the garden of Due Jung 
Fah, the second wife of Wu Sin Yin, the 

[EnterDvEJutiaF&iifoUowedby her maid, 
Tso, door left. Both hold their fans be- 
fore their faces and walk mlk mincing 
steps to center, during mime. Doe 
Jong Fah keeps always a little in ad- 
vance of T^o.] 
Due Juno Fah, Gentle listeners, here 
in my garden, with ceremonial bow, I tell 
you, I ajn Due Jung Fah, most unhappy of 
ladies. I am the second wife of Wu Sin Yin, 
the Great. There would be music in my 
heart it it were not for the first wife. The 
butterflies and bees and the humming-birds 
do not come to my garden. They fly to 
make hers beautiful. [To Tso.] Interrupt 
me not. The goldfish die in my lily ponds 
and swim sun-kissed in Chee Moo's across 
the wall. Where she walks with her mon- 
key-faced child, the hyacinths bloom, the 
purple wistaria and the white jasmine fill 
the air with fragrance for her painted nos- 
trils. I breathe and breathe, and the air is 
heavy with death of flowers. Oh, oh, even 
the lanterns in her evening walk brighten 
her path, while mine fade and I stvimblc. 
[StopsTso, who iDould speak.] Tell me not. 
1 marvel that any one should do her hom- 
age. My mind is crowded with thoughts of 
her cripple monster-child, for my soul has 
not given forth a child-seed. The air is 
filled with the approach of some one. Let 
us depart. 

iAs Ddb Juno Fah exiis door 
right, music] 
Tso. [Returns to center.] No one comes. 
The opportunity was not permitted me to 
tell you truly that 1 am Tso, the maid of 
Due Jung Fah. When I met you my mis- 
tress wanted to unburden her august soul 
toyou. Thoughlwasfilled withskywords, 



I am too adroit to talk when she wishes to. 
I am the dust in the sunbeam. I am one of 
the darkest shadows of our play. It is the 
modest little maid whose manner is filled 
with sunlight that throws the prettiest 
little shadows of the dark. Innocence 
makes the best play-shadow. The night 
shadow has no danger, tor you see it as you 
pass. Sweet little flitting shadows like 
mine trip you in your path. I threw a tiny 
rainbow shadow across Due Jimg Fah's 
eyes which looked like the first wife in her 
richest jewels and prettiest gown; and then 
a big thunder-cloud shadow across the eyes 
of Wu Sin Yin, and the cloud took on the 
image of his twisted child. If Chee Moo is 
gently disposed of. Due Jung Fah becomes 
the first wife and 1 become the first maid. 
The flrst maid, Suey Sin Fah, faints at the 
incense of some flowers. Lee ^n, her hus- 
band, deserves a wife more brave. Why not 
a gentle little shadow? [Exits. Music] 

Chorus. 'T is a road leading to the pal- 
ace of Wu Sin Yin, the (jreat. He comes, 
Tai Fah Mini mounted on his milk-white 

[Loud crash of cymbals; curtain on 
door left is lifted and Tai Fah 
Min enters followed by two men; 
he carries a whip and does pan- 
tomime of riding and driving a 
horse' one of the men who follow 
him carries a bann^ inscribed 
vrtth Chinese characters; this 
banner ih red; the other carries a 
large fan on a stick; he cornea 
down to left, then crosses right, 
then to center; goes through busi- 
««S4 of dismounting his horse, 
throwing his leg high in Ike air; 
the property man assists him and 
helps his man hold his supposed 
horse; he lays his whip on the 
ground behind him; during alt 
this, music. The supernumer- 
aries retire up stage loilh sup- 
posed horse. Tai Fah Min 
pivots on one foot, takes out kis 
fan, which is carried at the back 
of his neck, and bows three times 
to the audience. Gonga.] 
TaiFah Min. My horse! Remove him! 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



He must not hear the secret thoughts of 
his master. Tai Fah Min is my name. I 
come from the Southland, where the sun 
kisses the hilltops. I ru!e a province there 
as rich as the one of him I come to visit. I 
bow to you [bows three times], risking my 
dignity in doing so. A father's love hastens 
me hither, for 1 am the parent of the most 
wretched of ladies, the second wife of the 
celestial governor of this province, Wu 
Sin Yin, the Great. Chee Moo, the first 
wife, and her monster-born child stand be- 
tween my beautiful daughter, Due Jung 
Fah, and her husband. No one will envy 
her dead. Whatever pathway a father finds 
to give happiness to a dau^ter is not of- 
fensive to the gods. Th's prov nee s too 
crowded with august wi es a d tl e hon 
orable Chee Moo, the first w fe a d her 
dragon-eyed child, should be generous to 
others who need the celest al air thev 
breathe. Due Jung Fah mj daughter 11 
then be all and I will be all Tl s s tl p road 
to the palace. [To atle dant ] Br ng back 
my subhme horse ! Attend me on foot. 

[Property man btings forward the 
supposed horse and he goes 
through the pantomime of mount- 
ing; ikey assist him, pr</pgrty 
man picks up whip and hands 
it to him; he beats the supposed 
horse. Exit Tai Pah Min and 
altertdanis; door right. The 
property man rtov) places a 
table tenter, which he carries from 
left, places a red cover on it; then 
two chairs on either side, which 
he also covers ictiA a red doOt, 
and pjits a small stool on each,] 
CeoEtis. 'T is a room in the paJace of 
Wu Sin Yin, the Great. 

[Enter door Uft,WvSitiYm. Attended by a 
man with a fan, he seats himself in chair 
right of table; his dress is arranged as 
before by property man, etc.; during 
Otis, music. Enter attendant with Tai 
Fah Min's card and kneels. After 
Wu Sin Yin is seated, enter Tai Fah 
Min, attended by a man with a fan. 
Wu Sin Yin rises, pivots on right fool 
once, then clasps his hands, opens his 



fan, which he takes from back of tteck, 
and seats himself. Tai Fah Min does 
the same business and seats himself left 
of table.] 

Wu Sin Yin. Tai Fah Min, my exalted 
second father-in-law, I receive you into my 
paJace and presence with exuberanl?e of 
fancy. My beloved second father-in-law 
may assume that Wu Sin Yin, the Great, 
has bowed to him with filial obeisance. 

Tai Fah Min. And my celestial son-in- 
law may felicitate himself with the glorious 
fancy that his second father-in-law also has 
bowed. The palace of the great Wu Sin 
Yin breathes incense of happiness. The 
godssn 'led and it rose like a flower from the 
eartl for the habitation of our master. 
The teak ood was carved by moon-rays 
danc ng on its surface, the rugs were woven 
bj hummmg-bird beaks as they played 
h de and seek with their love-mates among 
the s Iken threads on the loom. The gods — 

Wu Sin Yin. Ah, Tai Fah Min, my 
Tai Fah Min, you exaggerate the magnifi- 
cence of my palace by compliments of 
great length. It is most humble. The 
beauties of my mind are enmeshed by the 
threads of evil woven there by the spider's 
art, else why should I, Wu Sin Yin, the 
Great, be the most unhappy of men? 

[Froperty man here comes for- 
ward with tray on which are two 
cups; he places Ihem on the table.] 

Tai Fah Min. The most radiantly 
happy ! 

Wu Sin Yin. Ah, if your daughter were 
only my first wife — not my second, my 
Tai Fah Min. 

Tai Fah Min. My daughter dare not 
look so high. She has not yet reached that 
great state — motherhood. 

Wd Sin Yin. I must have advice that 
brings unclouded to my arms and lips, the 
rosy lotus lips and arms of Due Jung Fah. 
Advise me my way, Tai Fah Min. 

Tai Fab Min. My brain speais, but my 
heart stands still. 

WuSinYin. Who could guide mc better 
than roy second father-in-law, who has 
such interest in my affairs? 

Tai Fah Min [anxiously]. I speak. The 



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279 



first wife, Chee Moo, stands in the hate of 
your subjects, because the child she bore 
was cramped, crab-like, monstrous and un- 
wise in its likeneaaes of evil. The devils 
damned it at its birth with — the mon- 
strosities of the — 

Wu Sin Yin [inlerrupting]. Mother's 
soul. 'Poi^t not that. 

Tai Fah MiN. That will save ua with 
your subjects. If it had inherited the noble 
godlike spirit of the father, Wu Sin Yin, the 
common hordes would have demanded it 
tor the next ruler. They dare to loathe the 
fruits of your body. Your scholars wou]d 
advise as I do, Wu Sin Yin. 

Wu Sin Yin. And that is — 

Tai Fah Min. Hush ! Let ua pass into 
another room where none may listen. [They 
walk three times ahoul the stage and atop each 
in the other's place. Properly man changes 
chairs. Music] We are safer here in this 
isolated spot. This palatial room is more 
fragrant than that we have passed from. 

Wo Sm Yin. Use up no more air in 
compliment. 

Tai Fah Min. We must whisper. No 
matter how safe you hide the egg the 
chicken will hatch. A sweet passing heaven- 
ward for the first mother and the child. 

Wu Sin Yin [gleefully]. And Due Jung 
Fah will come to me with no shadows be- 
tween us. But my conscience constrains 



Tai Fah Min [soothingly]. Think on the 
gorgeous munificence of her funeral! To 
die the wife of Wu Sin Yin, the Great, is 
like breathing zephyrs of the South as 
against livins; in a typhoon. Think how 
proud her family should be of the cere- 
monies as we lay the first wife with her 
ancestors ! Her death will be most glorious. 

Wu Sin Yin. Can we make her family 
believe it 7 

Tai Fah Min. It would be deplorably 
bad tast« if her family did not appreciate 
the magnificenee of the funeral that your 
dignity will afford her. 

Wo Sin Yin. A blind cat catches only a 
dead rat. Have I among my servants one 
ia dignity becoming to do the deed, for we 
could not leave it to the public executioner? 

Tai Fah Min. Lee Sin, the farmer, — 



worthy, god-favored and properly menial. 

Wu Sin Yin [thoughtfully]. This farmer 
is strong. 

Tai Fah Mm. He will gently plough a 
furrow with his sword in Chee Moo's neck 
and the gods will smile upon such hus- 
bandry, 

Wu Sin Yin. Send for him! 
[Enter Tso door left, with short strain of 

Tso. Most august and greatest of men^ 
representative of the Son of Heaven; 1 
kneel, bow and ask that my mistress, D119 
Jung Fah, your devoted second wife, may 
speak with her august lord and husband. 

Wu Sin Yin [condescendingly]. My wife 
may speak to her husband-master. 

[Exit Tso, after bowing to holh 



[Enter Due Jung Fah, fdlovied by Tso; 

kneels and bows to Wu Sin Yin; music] 

Dub; Jung Fah. Most wonderful and 
only husband in the worid, of whom even 
as the second wife, I, Due Jung Fah, am 
most unworthy. [Bon's.] 

Wu Sin Yin. Luscious one, I greet you. 
Rise and greet your worthy and far-seeing 
father, Tai Fah Min! 

Due; Jung Fah. I could not bow to my 

ancestors' tablets, much less to my noble 

father, before I had bowed my head in the 

dust tliree times to my gracious husband. 

[Doe Jung Fah here kneels and 

bows to Tai Fah Min. All rise 

and bow.] 

Tai Fah Min. My daughter has the 
modesty that Confucius praises. Her 
voice is low and gentle. Gracious and ce- 
lestial one, pardon the emotions of the 
greetings of a father in your presence. 

Wo Sin Yin. How would you fancy, my 
Due Jung Fah, as first wife, to lai^uish un- 
clouded in the lavish smiles of Wu Sin Yin, 
the Great? 

Due Jung Fah. But Chee Moo, my 
sister, the glorious first wife, lives. [Pre- 
tending to be startled, looking from, one to the 
other.] Not dead! I should faint «t grief. 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Tai Fah Mik [aside to her]. Eemember 
it is your duty to fill your husband's eyes 
with happiness and obedience, that wife- 
hood in you may be glorious to the end 
that such a child as Chee Moo bore shall 
not hve to rule in the Flowery Kingdom. 
Wu Sin Yin and your father ask it. 

Due Jung Fah. I love the province of 
the august Wu Sin Yin. Who does tlie 

Tai Fah Min. Lee Sin, the farmer. 
Due Jong Fah. I am resigned, if it can- 
not be done more gently with the dreajn- 
giving opiates. 

Wti Sin Yin, I had the flowers about 
her filled with the softest poison perfume 
that she might breathe their august ex- 
halations and pass gently to the honorable 
and desirable land of dreams. 1 went as 
the morning broke to weep over her de- 
parted soul, but it was she who was in tears 
over the honorable departure of the bees 
and butterflies and humming-birds who for 
love of their mistress had sucked the poison 
honey of the flowers and laid themselves to 
rest for her they loved. Their selfishness in 
robbing their mistress of her eternal sleep 
was inexcusable.' 

Due Jung Fah. I will retire and pray 
seven days at the tablets of my ances- 
tors for the soul of Chee Moo and her 
child. 

Wu Sin Yin. Your prayers shall cover 
but the space of one day. 

Dub Jung Fah. WuSin Yin, theGreatI 
I dwell in the unhappiness of my sister- 
wife. Fan me ! 

[Exit Due Juno Fah door right, 

after homng three times, followed 

by Tso. Music.j 

Wu Sin Yin. Send for the executioners. 

I shake hands with myself, Tai Fah Min, 

and leave you. 

|Wu Sin Yin clasps his hands, 
bows, opens his fan and exits 
door Tight, followed by Tai Pah 
Mik; cymbal and gong. Prop- 
erty man now removes chairs and 
table.] 
Chorus. 'T is the garden of Chee Moo, 
the unhappy first wife of Wu Sin Yin, the 
Great. 



lEnkr Chee Moo dear left, V!iik child, 
which is represented by a efidi viilh 
pieces of cloth wrapped around it and 
hanging dmeii. Comes dovm and crosses 
right. During following speech soft 
wails from orchestra.] 
Chee Moo. Oh, woe is me! Murder is 
in the air. The evil spirits build walla about 
me whichever way I go. Now you know 
that I am Chee Moo and this the child, 
Woo Hu Git. The devils put toads in our 
path to croak and awake him that he might 
cry out and reveal us; bats in the air follow 
us by night and hang their great withered 
wings from the rafters of Heaven, like a 
dead forest, to impede us by day. My boy, 
my pretty boy! whom evil plotters call 
cripple and monster- formed but who, as 
you see, is celestially beautiful. Let your 
baby dreams be a silent prayer to your 
ancestors for help. I will cry out to them 
from a mother's heart for your protection. 
We wiU fly to the mountains, the place of 
the issuing clouds, where your mother will 
weave fabrics of silk to cradle you in and 
care for you until your baby arm can wield 
a sword to confound your enemies. The 
lantern of my love hangs in the temple 
of my mind, and I pray you, my ancestors, 
let no unkind wind spirit or water sprite 
quench the flame of my ehlld-love. 

[Ents door right.] 
Chorus. 'T is a courtyard in the palace 
of Wu Sin Yin, the Great. 
IMusic. Enter Lee Sin. Comes down left, 
crosses right and hows.] 
Lee Sin. I am Lee Sin, the child of the 
rice fields. The chop-sticks of the poor and 
the chop-sticks of the rich await my har- 
vest. 1 feed them as the golden pheasant 
feeds its young. Where I labor the god of 
the soil smiles on my ox and me, for we are 
sacred. 

[Bows; prostrates himself before 

Tai Fah Min, who enters door 

left; loud crash on cymbals and 

gong.] 

Tai Fah Min. Rise, Lee Sin, I would 

Lee Sin. Father of the second wife, I 
bring you gi 



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aSi 



Tai Fah Min. Son of the soil, I realize 
the dignity of your greetings. 

Lee Sin. Wu Sin Yin bade me come. 1 
left my ox to teed and dusted my feet and 

Tai Fah Min. You labor too hard. I 
would help you. 

Lee Sin. I£ you took me from my labor 
you would rob me of the joy of living — 
which ia my all. 

Tai Fah Min. Would you add to the 
gold in your purse, Lee Sin? 

I.KE Sin. An avaricious man h like a 
snake trying to swallow an elephant. I 
have enough — and that is all 1 need. 

Tai Fah Min. You have a wife who may 
think more wisely, Lee Sin. 

Lee Sin, Suey Sin Fah is my wife, and 
maid to the beautiful Chee Moo, first wife 
of Wu Sin Yin, the Great. She, too, is 
happy and content, for she is good. 

Tai Fah Min. What do you love best in 
all the world, Lee Sin? 

Lee Sin. My parents and my wife, the 
little Suey Sin Fah, 

Tai Fah Min. And have you no love 
for your master, Wu Sin Yin, the Great? 

Lee Sin. 1 bow in the dust three times 
to him. He stands in the place for me of 
the Emperor, the Son of Heaven. 

[Gongs, both bomng.] 

Tai Fah Min, You would not refuse 
then to do his bidding? 

Lee Sin. To refuse would mean my 
death, and that I would give him for the 

Tai Fah Min. And if he asks you to kill 
for bim? 

Lee Sin. He would not ask it. 

Tai Fah Min, \Hand8 him death order, 
represented by tiger's head on a scroll.] It is 
the command of the Son of Heaven. 

[Gongs and both bow.] 

Lee Sin. The tiger's head! What crim- 
inal name is penciled on the gaping mouth? 
My eyes are like swords danced upon by 
evil spirits. I cannot see. Chee Moo, my 
wife's dearest mistress, and the child! I 
cannot kill them, 1 will go to my ancestors 
first. [Drops scroll.] 

Tai Fah Min. Then Suey Sin Fah will 
go with you. 



Lee Sin. Why does not the public ex- 
ecutioner wreak his master's impatience on 
the head of Chee Moo? He is skilled in 
killing first wives. 

Tai Fah Min. It must be a quiet and 
merciful affair, otherwise it might become 
a scandal. Her family should congratulate 
her on the release of her suffering soul, for 
those beheaded or strangled are free from 
suffering, but wives' families are strangely 
inconsiderate. 

Lee Sin. He that rids his house of an evil 
had better suffer the evil than tell the world. 

Tai Fah Min. I am going to Wu Sin 
Yin to drink delicious tea. Briog us the 
head of Chee Moo. 

[Exit Tai Fah Min door right, 
fanning himself. Screeching 
sound played rni inslrumenls.] 

Lbb Sin. The tiger's headl {Picks up 
scroll.] Ancestors, save me. An hour ago 
my ox and I were happy. The soft breeze 
on the rice fields brought us the music of 
Heav(n. An instant, and the typhoon 
comes with a word, and the land is bleak, 
and death hovers where the 3un-ra3fS 
played. This is the evil moon wrought by 
man's mischief. He is not content and will 
not suffer his poorest neighbors to be con- 
tent. The tiger's head I I must do the mur- 
der to save my wife, little Suey Sin Pah. 
[Enter Suet Sin Fah, do&r left. Music. 
Comes dawn left, bovis three times.] 

Suey Sin Fah. May I be permitted to 
tell this august worthy audience — to 
whom 1 bow, for it is my business to be 
humble, — being both a maid and a wife, — 
for I am the maid of the august gracious 
Chee Moo, the first wife, and the wife of 
the god-loved farmer, Lee Sin. 

Lee Sjn [back to her]. And like to be the 
widow of that same Lee Sin, for the evil 
spirite encircle him. 

SoEY Sin Fah. I pray my ancestors that 
1 may not be maid and widow at one time. 
Your eyes roll. What demon spirits clutch 
your heart, my husband, Lee Sin? The 
veins in your forehead burst, your hands 
twitch with the wrenchinga of the evil one. 
[Violent beating on gong and crash 
of cymbals,] 



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Lbb Sin. [Shows her scroll.] The tiger's 
head with a name upon its tongue, 

Sdey Sin Fas. Not yours, Lee Sin, my 
love, not yours! 

Leb Sin. Chee Moo! I must be her ex- 
ecutioner. 

Sdey Sin Fah. Chee Moo, my august 
mistress in the tiger's mouth! Let us die 
together and save Chee Moo and the boy, 
who are even now enchained prisoners 
within the walls of her flowery garden at 
the displeasure of her unkind husband. 

Lee Sin. I cannot. The tiger I The 
mother dies by the sword; the child de- 
serted in the wolf land. 

StTEY Sin Fah. Is this the husband of 
my breast, is this distorted demon the one 
to whom I gave a wife-heart? 

Lbe Sin. I bow to the gods to tear all 
tender feelings from me that I may work 
myself into an unkindness to do Chee 
Moo's murder. 

SuBY Sin Fah. I love the august Chee 
Moo and her beautiful child. She is suffer- 
ing from the machinations of Due Jung 
Fah, who is the human spider in the world- 
box. We must save Chee Moo. 

Lee Sin- If I obey not the mandate of 
Wu Sin Yin, the Great, your life and mine 



will a 



ir for it 



SueySinFah. Death with 
will be just as sweet in our love. The good 
oS the people demands that Chee Moo live 
to raise her boy. 

Lbb Sin, But if I fail, Chee Moo will die 
the same by the hand ot another found to 
do the work, as others will come to plough 
the riee fields when I and my ox are dead. 
Where is the honorable Chee Moo? 

SuGT Sitf Fah. Praying ia her prison to 
the great-eyed god for the soul of her boy, 
Wu Hoo Git. 

Lee Sin, What am I to do? 

SuEY Sin Fah. Kill little Tso, and pass 
her off for the august Chee Moo. 

Leb Sin [suspiciousi^]. You are jealous 
of little Tso. 

SoEY Sin Fah. Tso is a fox and makes 
mischief for us all. She dreams black plots 
at night and whispers them in the willing 
ears of Due Jung Fah. The gods smile 
when a bad being is killed, for it is so rare. 



The good do the dying. That makes them 

Leb Sin. But Tso does not look like 
Chee Moo. We should fail. 

SuEY Sin Far. [Business.] The sword 
that takes this from this — can slash this 
out of semblance, [Business taking pin 
from her hair.] Pin this in her hair. I took 
it from my mistress' head-dress. Where 
are you going? 

L^E Sin. After my august sword. 

[Exeunt Leb Sin and Sdey Sin 
Fas, door right. Enter door left, 
Tfio, Music] 

Tso. A moonbeam fell where the murder 
was contrived, I know all, for I listened. I 
was behind it and heard Wu Sin Yin and 
Tai Fah Min plan it all. There must be 
moonbeams somewhere when great pas- 
sions are working. If it had been a sunbeam 
there never could have been a murder. 

[Lee Sin enters, takes steord from property 
man. Tso does not see kim at first. He 
stands and looks at her. She finally sees 
him and begins to flirt.] 
I knew you were here, Lee Sin. 
Lee Sin, How could you know? 
Tbo. a butterfly lit on my heart and 
said, "Beware — there is a heart-thief 

Lbe Sin, The butterfly lied, I am 
married. 

Tso. That is the whole trouble in the 
honorable august world. All the fascinating 
men are married. 

Lee Sin. Work not your wiles on me, 
for I am rough, honest and not fascinating, 

Tso. It is the honest husband that falls 
first, for he is foolish, and does n't know or 
does n't mean to, or does n't know that he 
wants to mean to. I pray my ancestors ruit 
to give me too honest a husband. 

hEEBifiiaside, OS he crosses to right]. She 
is the evil thing. Her fox soul should be 
released. I must do it. 

Tso. You will find the honorable Chee 
Moo and her august monsl«r-ehild yonder. 
The light from the jewel in the forehead of 
her god-image will fall upon the mortal 
spot and lead the sword. 

Lee Sin. Howknewyouof my purpose? 



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THE YELLOW JACKET 



Teo. A tortoise by the pool told me. He 
was so slow he overheard the plot in pass- 
ing, Isyourhonorablesword very sharp? 

Lee Sin. As sharp as the east wind. 

Tao. Will you hack her one blow? 

Leb Sin. No more. 

Tao. How long will it take? 

Lee Sin. The time it takes a lark to 
swallow a grasshopper, [Tso shows glee.] 

Tso. Where will the sword cut? [He 
tmdks up stage and shows her at neck. She 
skudders,] Will it be very hard on your 
hands? 

Leb Sin. It will be. 

Tso. When will you do the deed? 

Leb Sin. Now. [Business. Lee Sin 
elrikes at her neck teitk sword. Property 
man comes forward and kdds a red fiag 
before her face.] 1 am blind with august 
blood- Where is the head? [Properly man 
throws a red sack on the stage. Tso exits door 
right. Lee Sin picks v.p red sack and Inlks 
lo it.] The remnant of a soul that lived! I 
will cUp the ears. I will chop off the honor- 
able nose. I will slit the precious eyes — 
that drooped to my humble eyes once. 
Without eyes, eaia, lips and nose, you, as 
the first wife, Chee Moo, are as good as 
any. 

SuEY Sin Fah. [Enters door left.] Where 
is the head? Show me the head? Oh, woe 
is me; it is my august mistress, Chee Moo! 

IjBESin, The fox maid, httle Tso! 

Suet Sin Fah. It is Chee Moo, my mis- 
tress, Chee Moo! 

Lee Sin, My sword worked the magic, 
I carved her to look like Chee Moo. There 
is the eye that drooped in love to your 
humble husband's, 

SuEY Sin Fah. She drooped her eye to 
you? I recognize it now. She should be 
dead ! Look to your exalted sword I Ox- 
headed devils cling to its blade. 

Lbb Sin. The evil ones upon my blade 
mock her — not me, and they shall mook 
at Wu Sin Yin, for I shall present him with 
the sword together with her head. [Suey 
Sin Fah pins jetiiel on the bag.] Bid Chee 
Moo flee with her child. 

[Stjey Sin Fah exits door right.] 

Lee Sin. The world is fire lined. To my 
work — I drag away the body, tor without 



its head it is sweeter to fertilize a field of 

poppies. 

[Leb Sin goes through business of 
■picking up supposed body and 
exits door right; music; prop- 
erty man now places table ce»- 
ter, covered with red doA; also 
chairs on eiiher side, which are 
also covered with red doth, with 
stools on their seats.] 
Chobus. 'T is the palace of Wu Sin Yin, 

the Great. 

[Enter Wo Sin Yin, door l^t; roll of drum; 

seats himself at right of table. Enter 

Tai Fah Min, takes seat on left of table; 

music stops. Properly man bringt tray 

on which are two eups and places the 

same <m table.] 

Wo Sin Yin. la it iceomplished my 

Tai Fah Min? Does jour daughter sit in 

the coveted place she longid for' 

Tai Fah Min [complacently] Let us 
drink tea. 

Wu Sin Yin. Bring tea, and cups of 
honeysuckle flowers and rose petals. 

[They dnnk.] 
Tai Fah Min. It is glorious when the 
bad die and the good live. 

Wd Sin Yin. Glorious 1 A rose petal for 
my tea. 

[Property tnan pretends to deHtw 
one -with chop sticks.] 

[Enl^ Lee Sin door left, kneels and bows 

three times to Wp Sin Yin, rises and 

ptiis basket which he has carried with 

him on tiAle, laying his sword on top.] 

Lee Sin. Most celestial master, I fall 

upon my knees, for they hold me not. Her 

head has been removed and quietness 

reigns. In the basket, my honorable mas- . 

ter. The ai^ust sword is there, too, moat 

honorable master. Forget not the august 

Wu Sin Ytn. [Removes sword and peeks 
into basket,] Bum perfumed incense as I 
peep at it. You have chopped off the lips 
that I have kissed! 

Lbb Sin. They lied, great master. 

Wd Sin Yin. You have slit the eyes 
that ha\-e blinked to me ! 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Lee Sin. And to others, great master. 
Wu Sin Yin. Yoii have chopped off the 
ears that have listened to my !ove ! 

Lee Sin. They have heard too much, 
great master. 

Tai Fah Min. Her hoad to the pigs! 
Another honeysuckle leal for my tea ! 

Wc Sin Yin. She uios my first wife. I'll 
bury the trunk with august honor. Inform 
Due Jung Fah that I come. She need pray 
no longer. My arms ache for her, Tai 
Fah Min. 

[Miisic; exU Wo Sin Yin, followed 
by Tai Fah Min, door Tight.] 
Lee Sin [mtk head]. To the pigs! To 
the pigs with the head, but the demon 
sword for the girdle of Wu Sin Yin. 

[Exit Lee Sir, mime, door right. 

Properly man removeB toMe and 

chairs, jdacing them on stage left. 

Music, plaintive tiieme.] 

Chee Moo. [£»fcrs left with child, as 

before. Down center.] To the mountains, 

where the evil eye grows blind in the pure 

air of Heaven, 



Ling Won. And theeyeofHeaven sees all, 

Chee Moo. Who are you that floats 
upon a fleecy cloud? Are you an execu- 
tioner who bears a sword? 

Ling Won. Fear not, I am the spirit of 
Wu Hoo Git's great-grandfather, the first 
Wu Hoo Git. 

Chee Moo. Then the breath of this 
child is your own lite breeae, still playing 
on this earth. And this is the little Wu 
Hoo Git, who inherits your to-day and 
your to-morrow. 

Ling Won. As I inherit his yesterday 
and his yesterdays before it. 1 am the spirit 
self of his great-grandmother, too; we of 
yesterday are two in one. 

Chee Moo. How mean you? 

Ling Won. The land of the dead is so 
crowded that married souls become as one 
in space and the silkworms of the dead land 
weave us into one cocoon that we may not 
crowd our neighbors. 

Chee Moo, Why does not his great- 
grandmother speak? 



Ling Won. It is not so ordained. She, 
being the woman, offended the ears of the 
gods — and her husband — with many 
words when alive, so the just gods suffer 
me only to speak now that we are dead. 

Chee Moo. CanBhehearandseeus,too? 

Ling Won. She can hear and see alL 
There, too, the gods are just, for in life the 
nights enamored me from home to listen to 
the moon-birds in the shadows of the trees, 
while I sucked the honey of the night- 
blooming cereus along the way, and too 
often the morning dawned while I still 
drank in the songs of the women on the 
fiower boats. 

Chee Moo. And will little Wu Hoo Git 
live as you do in death? 

Lino Won. Too soon if you obey me not. 



e tow 






Chee Moo. Who would harm my little 
Wu Hoo Git? 

Lino Won. The august Wu Sin Yin, his 
father, even now sharpens a sword to cut 
the thread that holds him to this life. 

Chee Moo. I dreamed it and so I fled. 

Linq Won. I sent that dream; little 
Wu Hoo Git would have passed to us had 
it not been that his great-grandmother, 
the other half of my spirit-self, sewed a 
stitch ia the brain of Lee Sin, the farmer, 
so that he could not pick up the thread of 
thought woven there by Wu Sin Yin, your 
husband, who had ordered the murder of 
the little Wu Hoo Git. 

Chee Moo Ikorrijied]. Too terrible! 
Oh, oh, I could fill a crystal vase with a 
mother's tears. 

Ling Won. I come to break the crystal 
vase of a mother's tears that would drown 
her boy. 

Chee Moo. What shall 1 do? 

Leb Won. Send the august Wu Hoo Git 
on his world journey alone. 

Chee Moo, You would not take the 
little Wu Hoo Git, tor you have a woman's 
heart within your breast and know a 
mother's meaning. 

Ling Won. You must come to us that 
Wu Hoo Git may live to the glory of the 
Emperor. 

Chee Moo. But he will lose his way 
without a mother's care and love. 



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Lino Won. The future is for the gods; 
we are spirits and know only the path back 
to the moon whence we came. His steps 
are toward the sun, whither he goes. 

Chee Moo. Let me go with him. 

Ling Won. Not so. Wu Sin Yin would 
know you, for you are grown. He is so 
little that he looks like other babes and 
may escape. 

Chbb Moo, But he needs a mother to 
feed and look after him. 

Ling Won. The ravens will feed him; tie 
eagles will show him the mountain peaks; 
the humming-birds will tell him the names 
of the flowers along his path ; the goldfish 
will show him whither the streams flow 
straight. And a maiden will arise to teach 
him the story of love. Fear not. The Gods 
of Mercy and of Love will hold his hands. 

Chee Moo. My Wu Hoo Git — my 
litt]e Wu Hoo Git. Your mother's heart 
melts for you. 

Lino Won. He will go up and up and 
up, till he wears the sun-hued garment. 

Chee Moo, The sun-hued garment I My 
Wu Hoo Git. [To spiHt.] Leave me not. 
My heaven -descended son of the morning 
fades in my arms as you fade. He goes from 
me into the gtory of paleness, while 1 cry 
out tor his peaceful rest. 

Lino Won. The evil lines only wrought 
by demon cunning fade from his cheeks 
before the light of a new aoul day. The 
cramped and evil thoughts bom ot his 
father's life flee before the sword thrusts of 
good thoi^hts which a mother marshals to 
cradle him. 

Chee Moo. You go from me! 

Ling Won. Write Wu Hoo Git's naaie 
and history on his coat and come to us. 
Farewell — we must depart into the shad- 
ows. [SpirU retires.] 

Chbb Moo. Leave me not — oh, leave 
me not! [Laughing and crying.] Wu Hoo 
Git, my Wu Hoo Git. I am a willow weep- 
ing over the stream ot my own life-blood, 
I will write your name on your garment in 
a mother's blood that the life of the mother's 
veins from which you sprang may enter 
into and become a part of your soul. 

[Chee Moo fere bites the second 
finger 0/ hsr lift hand Ttniil the 



blood comes, which she allows to 
drop into the palm of her harui; 
th^n dips the finger-nail of her 
right hand into the blood and 
vrriles on the white under-gar- 
ment of the child, sobbing during 
the speech.] 
My baby — my boy! [Writes.] This is 
Wu Hoo Git, pure and perfect, now, de- 
creed to live ten thousand years. A moth- 
er's tears, falling as rain from heaven, will 
fill the vaileys across his path that his life- 
boat may float from mountain peak to 
mountain peak and confound his enemies 
who follow after. More words in the moth- 
er's blood — I grow weak. 

Ancestors guard you. 
Love embrace you- 
[Stops. To spirit, who is gone.] Will I hear 
his baby cry and not be able to come to 
him ? Must I see tlie tears in his baby ey^a 
and not be able to wipe them away? 
Ling Won [outside]. Yes. Yes. 
Chee Moo. The mother who would give 
all and does give all — the ink in my veins 
runs out. Every drop must go by to the 
boy, [Writes.] Be kind to her who gives 
you love. Hope, pray, fight, live — to 
make others happy. The last drop, — the 
last drop in my veins to tell the story of 
my boy and put a prayer on his garment. 
All — my baby boy ^ all! A mother's 
love! I cannot let you go. Your baby 
hands cling about my heart. The light 
grows as gentle as the light ot dreams. Wu 
Hoo Git — my baby — my Wu Hoo Git. 
[She now becomes faint mth the loes 
of blood and sinks to the stage. 
Property nmn and his assistant 
bring ladder and place it at cen- 
ter of upper opening. Cbbe 
Moo rises and climbs up fow 
rungs of the ladder. Property 
man holds ladder.] 
Chohtis. She climbs to Heaven. 

[MusiJ:. Enter door left, ^xiws%iviVA-a, fol- 
lowed by Lee Sin; come center, see child, 
but lake no notice of ladder or Chbb 
Moo.) 



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Lee Sin. Hia name is writ in blood upon 
hia garment. 'T ia Wu Hoo Git! We will 
fly with him. 

[Exeunt with child, door right.] 

Chbb Moo [on Heaven ladder, climbing 
fartherup]. MyWuHooGit! Your mother 
will never aee you wear the sun-hued gar- 
ment, but she will know. 



[Note. At the end of oc(, in place of cur- 
tain calls, the Chohus comes before the hlite 
curtain and offers thanks in the name of the 



Chohxts [appeaTing], I bow and thank 
you in the name of my brothers of the Pear 
Tree Gajrden for the kindness you have 
shown. 1 ask indulgence. I would permit 
them to appear ajid voice their thanks did 
not tradition forbid. I ehall tell them; it 
will put joy in their hearts. At the close of 
our story & they still stand in the light of 
your favor, it will please me to permit them 
to come before you, if you do not adulate 
them too much for their good. I bow. 

[Exits.] 



ACT 11 

After the house curtain is taken up the 
tableau eurtceins are slightly parted and the 
property man enters. He walks to extreme 
right, then to extreme left and back to center, 
striking large gong; then exits through open- 
ing in tableau curtains. Orchestra on stage 
plays short overture. At crash of cymbals 
Chorus appears before the curtains and bmvs 
to right, left and center. 

Chorus. I come again because I prom- 
ised. I bow again. [Bows three limes.) You 
may rely od my august word, for I deal 
in facte alone uncolored by fancy. My 
brothers of the Pear Tree Garden are not 
accountable to truth, as they speak what 
the author of our play, — I will advise you 
later of him, — has set down for them to 
speak. Authors and poets color the truth 
by the prettiness of their fancy. I bow to 
them, however, telling you to beware of 



them, for I derive my opportunity from 
the soaring of their imagination to present 
my ai^ust self to you. To this extent 
authors are magnificently worthy. Wu 
Sin Yin, the evil father, was unable to kill 
his august son, Wu Hoo Git. Thia celestial 
young prince had dwelt twelve moons, 
when last you heard his baby cry of parting 
with his honorable and august mother, 
Chce Moo, who took her passage heaven- 
ward in your glorious presence. But time 
has honorably pursued its venerable way. 
Wu Hoo Git has grown into youthful man- 
hood, and stands at the portal of flowery 
lite. He must pluck the azaleas of youth 
and observe them wither at the touch of 
his golden finger-nails. He must know the 
temple of the body before his body knows 
the temple of his mind. {Bell sounds off.] 
The great bell calls me - — as it calls him. 
The bell-maker cast it of pure gold and 
silver, but its note proved brazen. The Son 
of Heaven was supremely annoyed. The 
bell-maker recast it. When the metal was 
molten, to save her father's Ufe, for fear its 
note might again carry base tones, his 
daughter disposed of her body by springing 
into the mass of white heat ; so her soul be- 
came of the bell wrought by her father. 
The metals welded with her spirit, and its 
tone was then one of virtuous harmony and 
love. Wu Hoo Git, too, must pass through 
molten life, that the fires may purify his 
soul and weld it into the purest strain. I 
augustly bow; you honorably listen. 

[Chorus (urns his back to audience, 
makes gesture imth his fan. At 
crash of cymbais, tableau cur- 
tains are dravm Chorus noio 
gots up to table, center, prop- 
erty man discoveied seated on 
stool m center of stage. When 
music stops, property man 
arises, indicates to Chorus that 
scene is set and crosses to Wt.] 
[Chorus titen speaks.] "T Is the home of 
Lee Sin, the farmer; though humble in 
appearance, it is crowded with riches. 

[MuJiic. Enter SuET Sin Fah, left. She 
comes doicn left, opens imaginary door, 
steps oi<er the door-sitl, closes door. 



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crosses to center and stands in front of 
sUtol before speaking.] 

SoBT Sin Fah. It is the twentieth an- 
niversary of the birth of Wu Hoo Git, who 
has grown into beautiful manhood. The 
Goddess of Mercy — Kuan Yin — she 
who hears prayers and is the giver of chil- 
dren — haa given me no baby of my own to 
care for, but in secret mercy has given me 
Wu Hoo Git to foster-mother. When I 
thought I held a babe and the breath of 
diildhood was sweet, I looked and the 
Uower had bloomed. Youth sprang from 
my arm-petals to laugh, and run and play 
the first games of life. A few days give the 
first farewell to the mother's arms, a few 
months and the babe is a babe no more, a 
few years and our mother journey is done. 
We look in the mirror of the past with the 
gray upon our temples, and we find strong 
arms to protect us where we had protected 
the helpless babe. The boy runs away. He 
promises to return. He thinks he will re- 
tuia to the mother breast. You may think 
that all is well with Wu Hoo Git, but it is 
not so. Due Jung Fah's son, the Daffo- 
dil, grown to man, bars the way to Wu Hoo 
Git and his world-place. Like alt adoles- 
cent boys, Wu Hoo Git longs for the world 
and its dangers. If he leaves our sheltering 
care, he will never return to the mother 
breast except in memory. I worship my 
soul alone, [Sits on stool, center. Music] 
[Enter Lee Sin, door left. Carries hoe over 
shoulder, wears a beard. Comes dovm 
left, opens imaginary door, steps over 
sill, closes the door, crosses to right.] 

Lee Sin. Prosperity is mine. My ox 
ploughs the field and it grows pearly with 
rice. You touch the loom and it weaves 
rich fabrics. We dwell in the glory of our 
beautiful foster-child. 

[SuEr Sin Fah, going to kim, puis 
one arm about his neck and covers 
her face vdlh ike other hand.] 

Suet Sin Fah. The august Wu Hoo Git 
has gone forever. 

Lbb Sin. Not so. Tel! me not so. I 
murdered for him. Could a father do more? 

Sdet Sin Fah. The string of our kite is 
broken and the kite drops down from its 



heaven-kissed place past the horizon. He 
is grown, and longs for the paths of pleasure 
where the way is piled with hungry evil 
gods. He demands the shadows of his past. 
He cries for his ancestors and we dare not 
give them to him. We must put him from 
his purpose or the evil-bom son of the 
second wife. Due Jung Fah, will pursue 
and slay him. 

Lee Sin. Fear not I He is not of the 
common horde whose palm is dulled to 
pleasure by hard toil. He is august and 
needs the luxury of the joy of living. The 
gods rain favors of grace and beauty and 
perfumed paths on such as he. Remember 
whence he sprang. His treasure chest is full 
of gold which the gods gave to feed his glori- 
ous appetite. Soon the man's life journey 
to match his exalted station must call him. 

SuEY Sin Fah. Still I fear. I must wait 
by the hearthstone, where he will never 
play again. Never again will he make my 
knees his ancestral tablets and coo his 
baby prayer to them. 

Lee Sin. Neither spirits nor Due Jung 
Fah's son can harm him now, [Crosses to 
left. Opens imaginary door.] Look! He 
comes like the sun over the eastern hill. He 
brings a new day to us. 

[Crosses to right again, Music] 

[Enter door left, Wu Hoo Git-I 
Wu Hoo Grr. [Strikes picture in door- 
way. Comes downUft. Leaps over imaginary 
door-sill and crosses to center.] 1 am Wu 
Hoo Git! I am tired of classics. I long for 
the free air of life. 

Lee Sin. You will not find contentment 

Wu Hoo GiT. Then where shall I find 
contentment? 

Lee Sin. In hard work and pure love. 

Wu Hoo Grr. And where will I find pure 
love? 

SuE5- Sin Fah. In a mother's arms. 

Lee Sin. In a wife's embrace. 

Wu EIoo GiT. The woman answers one 
way, the man another. In the world there 
are many answers. I must hear them all to 
judge. 

Lee Sin. Go not from us. Be counseled 
by a father. 



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Spby Sin Fah. And by a mother's iove. 

Wp Hoo GiT. Where is my real mother 
waiting? Where does my real father reside? 

Lee Sin [con/usediy]. Our love withholds 
much that you will know in time. 

Wu Hoo Git. In time — always in time. 
I have played hide-and-seek with the sun- 
rays and the moon-rays, I have laughed 
from the mountain peak at the typhoon 
sweepii^ the valley below. But when I ask 
you for my ancestral tablets you t«li me to 

SuEY Sin Fah. Till wisdom comes. 

Wu Hoo Git. Why should I be denied? 
A babe knows its mother. I demand my 
parents. I feel the blood of eagles in my 
veins. I demand, I say! 

Lee Sin. I cannot. 

Sdey Sin Fah. 1 will not yet. 

Wu Hoo Git. Then I go to find them. 
[Ooes up right to daor.\ Even at the por- 
tals of high Heaven. My purse is full, 
but without my ancestors, I dwell not in 

Lee Sin. The world is large and you 
know not the dangers that will cross your 
stumbling way. 

Wu Hoo Git. I fear not. 1 am grown to 
be an august man. 

[Large gong. Music. Exits door 
right.] 
SdeySinFah {going up toward door right]. 
WuHooGit,myWuHooGit! Comeback 
to me! Oh, go not away, my boyi Rest 
here cradled in my love. Permit me to 
rock you to sleep to the song of gentle 
breezes and the tune of tiay bells. 

Lee Sin. [Goes to Suey Sin Fah. Puts 
arm around her.] He has the call of the 
world now and must answer. 

[They exeunt door right. Property 
man's assistants place four stools 
in a row across stage mth spaces 
between them. Take two stoids 
from l^t and place them right of 
stool which is at center; lake one 
stool from waU left and phu^ it 
left of stool center. Property man 
then makes gesture to Ohokits 
and crosses to Uft.] 
Chorus [mes]. 'T is the flowery way 
of pleasant evenings. He comes! Wu Hoo 



Git's rival, the Daffodil, coddling his brain 
with dark thoughts. [Sits.] 

[Music. Enter Daffodil preceded by two 
attendants, one carries large red banner, 
the other large fan. They stand either 
side of door left. He strikes attitude in 
doorway vdth fan, (urns around slowly 
and as he faces front again property 
man drops sword on bottom of properly 
box. Expression of pain crosses Daf- 
fodil's face. He crosses to center. 
Property man brings bouquet of flowers 
for him to smell, standing left of him ] 
Wu Fah Din. I advise this honorable 
audience that I am a man, though I possess 
a daffodil nature. I go to view delightful 
embroideries, but retard my footsteps, that 
you may observe my charm. I was born 
great. Wu Sin Yin was my father, and 
Due Jung Fah, the second wife, mj mother 
A wonderful alliance, as I am the superb 
result. [Property man holds flowers for him 
to smell again.] I am, therefore, the rival of 
Wu Hoo Git, who dwells, it is whispered, 
in an humble mountain home, whence he 
will go forth to seek his world-place. I am 
not happy while he dwells ans'where — 8o 
he must not dwell. He is simply vulgarly 
manly, while I possess feminine qualities of 
great luxuriance. [Smells flowers again. 
Property man draws Ihem away from him 
and puts them in box left. Property man then 
sits and reads Chinese paper.] I would con- 
tend with him, man to Daffodil, but it 
might break my finger-nails and establish 
a bad precedent. Youmay think the match 
unequal, because of my delicacy in a con- 
test with brawn; but I assure you that it is 
not so. Craft, guided by cruelty, outweighs 
vulgar manliness. 1 must contrive to de- 
stroy his honesty and cleanness of bfe. 
[Attendant fans him with targe fan.] I will 
call to my aid Yin Suey Gong, whom you 
will meet and know, by the hump on his 
back. I will have him present his porcelains 
to the unsuspecting Wu Hoo Git. He deals 
deliciously in porcelains. He will drop 
Bowers of pleasure in Wu Hoo Git's path 
that my rival may inhale their odors of 
vice. Observe how I contend with brawn. 
[Music. Attendants go up right and exeunt. 



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289 



Daffodil goes up toward door as he speaks.] 
Cut the fiowera in my path that I may 
walk. 

[Biifs door right. Music changes.] 

[Enter door left, Yin Suby Gong. Carries 
staff. Music cimtinues during speech.] 

Yin Suby Gong. [Comes dmen to center 
hawing.] I am Yin Suey Gong of the mon- 
key form. The air was lukewarm when I 
came, ghost clouds were racing the wind. 
I was dusted by butterfly wings along my 
path. Bringing pleasure to the owner of 
gold is my busineaa. A dragon yawned and 
belched me forth. A tooth caught me and 
I was born cramped of back. I give those 
who were bom straight [ckwMes] and 
august of face the world's pleasures. Then 
to avenge myself on motier nature, who 
distorted me, I pluck down their star and 
delight in its fall. [CkucMes.] I watch the 
flower lanterns of their vanity bum till the 
ribs stick out like skeletons. Then I laugh, 
for they are crooked in purse and without 
love. I flatter them till 1 have them in my 
grasp, then I mock at them, for they aie 
fools. I deal with the fair and tJiey become 
crooked-brained. I juggle hearts. I toss 
them in the air and cross them and dance 
them on my finger-tips and catch them on 
my upturned nose. Sometimes one falls 
and leaves a blood spot where it fell. Then 
I gurgie and juggle on. for hearts are my 
currency and a few marred and broken 
ones are easily replaced. 

Wd Fah Din. [Enters, comes down left 
and crosses to right, dropping folded red 
paper, which represents a Chinese theck. 
Backs up stage to door right as he speaks.] 
Wu Hoo Git approaches. Enmesh him. 
Tarnish bim. It must be done with per- 
fume, and gently. [Exiis.j 

Yin Stjbt Gonq [tenter]. I shaU ap- 
proach with my arms full of presents for 
the adolescent Wu Hoo Git. 1 

(Music. Bnier Wcr Hoo Git. Doorkft.] 
Wu Hoo Git [coming dovin left]. Where 

do I find myself? 
Yin Suet Gong. In the land where the 

honey is sweet and the bees have lost their 



Wu Hoo Git. What is this land? 

Yin Suby Gong. [Bows going up to him.] 
This is the land of perfumed pleasure. 
Where the cups are filled with silver rice- 
wine and the lips of love are heavy with 
greetings and your every desire is answered. 

Wu Hoo Git. Its story had been traced 
on a BU'eet-meat jar. But it is not the land 
I seek, for it tells not of my ancestors, 

[Mones a little right. Turns back to 
audiewx.] 

Yin Suey GoNO. You are augustly wise. 
You are old and learned. I bow to the 
august magnificence of your dress, the deli- 
cacy of the golden guards to your honorable 
finger-nails, your wonderful jewelry of 
amber — your astut* wisdom — 

[Wu Hoo Git shuts eyes in delight 
at ftattery.] 

Wu Hoo GiT. I am transcendently wise. 

Yin Suey Gokg, Your boots wiU surely 
decorate a city's gates when you have 
passed to your ancestors. You are old for 
your age. The world and life will make you 
older. Dreams await you. I greet you and 
lay the world at your feet. 

Wu Hoo Git. I would put you in a seat 
of friendship beside me. 

Yin Suey Gong, There are only two 
things i« pleaae the taste of an august man 
like you. [Bomng.] Some will tell you in 
deceit that there are many things to please, 
but there are only two. 

Wu Hoo Git, Only two in the broad 
world, to people my pleasure? 

Yin Suey Gong. Only two. You may 
travel, you may study, you may know, but 
pearly \viae and luscious women are all that 
you will find. Some tar countries boast of 
the dance, but it is a part of woman. Our 
august land oft speaks in song, but that, 
too, is sweet from the lips of woman only. 
It is not the note or string. It is the lips 
that slug. To know wine and women ii 
rarer far than to know classics. The great 
scholars know this [bows], but praise not 
my honesty. [Turns away right.] 

Wu Hoo Git. You make me wonder. I 
have learned philosophy. But it concerns 
me not in my search for my ancestors. 

[Starts toward door right.] 

YiN Suby Gong. Be tutored by glorious 



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woman, the rims of whose rice wine-cupa 
are orystaUized with kisses. 

[Manes away a little.] 

Wo Hoo Git. What are kisses? 

Yin Soey Gonq. Tlie meeting of the 
pollen of two flowers that float to each other 
on a heaven-sent breeze. 

Wi! Hoo Git. Such an august meeting 
must make the sweetest incense for the 
gods. 

Yin Sdey Gong. It does — only the evil 
one more often catches the breath. 

Wu Hoo Git. And why? 

Yin Suey Gong. The gods have others 
taste tJie sweets first for fear of poison. 

Wd Hoo Git. But there can be no 
poison in the meeting of tJie flowers. 

Yin Suey Gong. There may be birth 
and birth leads to death. [Music. During 
which Wd Hoo Git crosses to left. Lislert- 
ing. Yin Suey Gong watches tiie egect on 
h.im,.\ Love birds, flowers of happiness, 
come to garden your pleasure. They will 
teach you life, rarer than philosophy, richer 
than claasicH. [Enter door l^t four flower- 
girls at music cue. Slnke pictvre in doorway, 
bow forward, then to left. They cross and 
atoTid above stools.] To your sale thrones, 
my princesses fair! 

[Girls come to below stools, backs to 
audience. They mount at music 
cue, with ihe help <4 the assistant 
property mwi. Girls then trim 
front, fans stiU before Ikeir faces.] 

Wu Hoo Git. [Whenmusic stops, crosses 
to center.] How modest they are ! Fans be- 
fore their rose faces 1 [Looks at girls, de- 
lighted.] I am glad I came to this world. It 
makes smiling in tuy heart. 

Yin Suey Gono. It has pleased many. 

Wu Hoo Git. By what charm do women 
bold us enchained? 

Yin Suey Gono. Wise men have won- 
dered. [Laughs, moves right.] 

Wu Hoo Git. May I approach them 
with my voice? 

Yin Suey Gono. And get strange an- 
swers! 

Wu Hoo Git. How many moons have 
passed since you graced the earth? 

See Quoe Fah [dropping fan]. Sixteen 
years of moons. 



Wu Hoo Git. Put up your fan! Who 

Mow Dan Fah, A peony flower. 

Wu Hoo Git. Then you will fade. 

Mow Dan Fah. Pick me while my per- 
fume lasts. 

Wu Hoo Git. You are as dainty as the 
embroidery on an Empress's gown. [Fright- 
ened, she puts fan over her face. Wu Hoo 
Git moves to Yin Suey Gono.) May I 
speak to the next one? 

Yin Suey Gong. The gods painted 
many tiat man might choose one! 

Wu Hoo Git. [Starts to go up right.] Let 
me go back to philosophy and my ancestors. 

Yin Suey Gong [stopping him]. And 
never know life? 

Wu Hoo Git. [To third girl, who lowers 
fan.] She tipped her fan to me. I saw her 
eyes. I will wait and talk to her. Her 
hands are like penciled porcelain. She has 
the color of plum-tree buds. Are you — 
just like the other? 

YoNG Soo Kow. I was kissed by a more 
southern sun. 

Wu Hoo Git. Then two flowers met 
and a — a child was born? 

YoNG Soo Kow. You were not one of 
the flowers I 

Wu Hoo Git. What means she? 

Yin Suey Gono. A sunbeam played 
upon her hydrangea Up. 

Wu Hoo Git [excited]. And danced in 
her eye and painted her cheek, 

Yin Suey Gono. You should have been 
the sunbeam. She invites you. 

Wu Hoo Git. This was never taught me 
in philosophy. Howmuch thereis toleami 
[Indicating fourth girl.] That one coughed. 
[Sighs.] Send her to the Drug Hail of 
Propitious Munificence for the Great 
Blessing Pill, or the Double Mystery Piii, 
or the Thousand Gold Pill tor maidens. I 
suffer to see her suffer. 

Yin Suey Gong. Her cough is a gentle 
salutation. She fears you may go astray if 
you talk too long to her august sisters. 

yi!vlS.ooGTT[delighted,vihispering]. Does 
she think so much of me? I like her. She 
has a mother's heart. 

Yin Suey Gong. They all have mother- 
hearts. 



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291 



Wd Hoo Git. I never had a mother. 
[Crosses down center. Turns back Ui aurfieTiCe, 
looking at girts.] Now I have four, [Music. 
Girls sing, Al end of song short dance. The 
girls turn around on stools and iaee front 
again. During song Wv Hoo Grr crosses to 
l^t. Al end of dance he S'peaks.] She sings 
with lips that part like opening roses. My 
(oster-mother never sang Uke that. The 
blood runs taster in my veins. [Crosses to 
Yin Sdby Gong.] I feel something here 
that beats. 

Yin Suet Gong. That is your heart. 
Philosophy knows nothing of it. 

Ww Hoo Git. I like her. She is so 
sweetly made — round and soft and deli- 
cate — like a vase we would embrace for 
fear it might fall and shatter its loveliness. 

Yin Sugy Gong. You may hold her and 
embrace her beauties. 

Wu Hoo Git. I might let her faJl and 
shatter her dainty roundness. 

Yin Suet Gong. You will learn in time. 

Wu Hoo GiT [tries]. But my arms may 
not be strong enough. 

Yin Sdby Gong. Hers were made to 
help you. 

Wu Hoo Git. [Crosses to Chow Wan, 
left; awkwardly embraces her. Other girls 
lower fans and look at kim. He then crosses 
back to Yin Suby Gong.] It is easier than 
I thought. She grows more delicately beau- 
tiful. She is sweeter than tlie rarest vase. I 
like theholdingof her. Her breath is incense. 

Yin SiTBY Gong. You may taste her lips, 

[Re crosses to Chow Wan again, 

ingenuously kisses her and 

crosses back to Yin Suby Gong.] 

Wu Hoo Git. Sweetmeats rare. 

[iStorta to kiss Chow Wan again, 
stopped by Yin Suey Gong.] 

Yin Suey Gong. I will sell her to you. 

Wt) Hoo Git [astonished]. Is she tor sale? 

Yin Suey Gong. Everything I possess is 
tor sale. 

Wu Hoo Git. Would you keep none fo 
yourself? 

Yin Suey Gong. I would be selfish t' 
retain such delicate wares. All perfumed 
flowers may be cut by a golden knife. They 
wait upon the market for your desire. 



Wu Hoo Git. I will buy them all. 

Yin Suey Gong. Like most men you 
would have them all, but, if you purchase 
tour maids, you would sell three, or present 
them to your friends. 

Wu Hoo Grr. [With inspiration. Moves 
left.] Then I will buy her who coughs. 
[Girls drop fans and put them up quiekly.[ 
They dropped their fans and looked at me. 
I never felt such a delicate shock. It is like 
reading the classics at one glance by the 
light of ray-tailed comets. May they do it 
again? 

Yin Suey Gong. Not till you purchase. 

Wu Hoo GiT. And what must I pay? 

Yin Suey Gong. All you have in your 
chased gold puree. 

Wu Hoo GiT. [Crosses to Yin Suey 
Gong, right.] But I have rine thousand 
taelsl What shall 1 do when I give them all 
to you? 

Yin Suey Gong. Send home for more 
like every august son who would see the 

Wu Hoo Grr. [Turns left looking at 
purse.\ Nine thousand taels tor a mother! 

Chow Wan. I am worth more. [He looks 
up at her.] You will find it so. 

Wu Hoo Grr. [Drops purse.] Take my 
purse, most gracious Yin Suey Gong. [Goes 
to Chow Wan, lefL] Lee Sin will send me 
more. She would suffer so alone. [Music. 
Three girls turn on stools, witit backs to audi- 
ence and descend, assisted by the property 
man, and exeunt door right. Yin Suet Gong 
follows them up to door and turns, looking at 
Wu Hoo Grr. Wu Hoo Git helps Chow 
Wan off of stool.] They do not smile on me. 

Yin Suby Gong. The evil one fans them 
with jealousy. You did not buy them, too. 

Wu Hoo Grr. Are they angry? 

Yin Suey Gong. They are filled with 
humility. Farewell! [Aside.] He drowns 
of pleasure. The Daffodil will 






[Exits right, laughing. Properly 
man's assistants push four stooU 
together, then bring four chairs 
and place them back of stools, 
touching them. An assistant exits 
right but returns immediately 
with two bamboo poles to be used 



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Hands one to another 

■t and they stand a little 

above and to the right of the chairs. 

Properly man gets drapery and 

places il over back of chairs. 

Then he places two cushions on 

the stools tekich he gets front left 

near property box. Musio slops 

when Wu Hoo Git speaks.] 

Wu Hoo Git. By wliat sweet name are 

you called? [Taking her hand.] 

ChowWan. Chow Wan, Autumn Cloud. 

Wp Hoo Git [dropping her hand, backing 

av>ay]. That's augustly pretty, Wlat shall 

1 do with you now I have bought you? 

Chow Wan. [Goes to him, places head on 
his shoulder.] 1 will teach you. 

Wu Hoo Git. Your voice is like an 
honorable zephyr. Bring it closer. 

[Puts arm ofiotii her.] 
Chow Wan. You are learning. 
Wu Hoo Git. But you have not taught 
me a thing that I could behold. 

Chow Wan. The gods have taught you 
many things that you can feel yet know 

Wu Hoo Git. I do not understand, but 
I like you better than philosophy. 

Chow Wan. When you have said fare- 
well to me, you will be a wiser philosopher. 
Wu Hoo GiT. [Backs away from her.] 
Must we part? 

[Starts to emhrace her, she ei'odes 
him, crosses to center below.] 
Chow Wan. Not for many perfumed 
days. 

[Properly man makes gesture to 
Chobus who rises.] 
Cbohus. 'T is a flower boat which floats 
upon a silver river of love. 

[Chow Wan seais herself on 

cushion of boat and invites Wu 

Hoo Git to enter.] 

Chow Wan. Come with me in the flower 

boat and float among the lotus plants while 

the night birds perch on the moon-rays and 

sii^ to us, and I answer their song. 

[He gets into the boat. After he is 
settled tvm assistants with poles 
pretend to row Ike boat. Musi- 
cian runs two pieces of sandpaper 
together in time with the strokes.] 



Wu Hoo Git. You think of such sweet 
ways to wander from the minutes of the 
third day of the third moon to the fourtt 
day of tie third moon. 

Chow Wan. In my arms you will wan- 
der ten thousand years. 

Wu Hoo Git. [His arm about her.] I 
wish your three sisters had stayed with us. 
It would have warmed their hearts to see 
us thus. [She drops her fan.] 

Cbow Wan. You are so worldly-wise. 
[Fans herself slowly.] They would have 
purred with delight. 

WuHooGiT. [Song off stage.] Thesilver 
sails fill with the summer breeze. Wild 
bells tinkle in my august veins. I never 
heard them there before. 

Chow Wan. [Turns away from him.] See 
the lotus lanterns on the water wafting 
their candle-light to us! 

Wu Hoo Git. [Starts up.] This is the 
night of love. Let not the morning come. 

Chow Wan. A love boat passes us in the 
moonlight. 

Wu Hoo Git [Looking She foUous 
imaginary ioal from left to tight udh ktr 
hand.] It holds a woman and a min in 
sweet embrace It !■* the lotu" lipped fan 
girl I met with \ou 

Chow Wan lin Suey Gong has sold 
her to him 

[They follow the imaginary boat 
with their eyes Wu Hoo GiT 
v.ith his hand aiound to nght 
holds picture until song off stage 
slops.] 

Wu Hoo Git. I should have bought her 
and saved her from him. 

Chow Wan. Your gold is not enough for 
one. [She puts head on his shoulder.] Let us 
land for more. 

Wu Hoo Git. Wait until the night is 
passed. 

ChowWan. No! We will find it sweeter 
in my home. You fill the purse for the 
fruits, cakes and candies. I will shadow the 
lanterns and draw the silken curtains to 
await your coming. [He starts to embrace 
her. She stops hifn.] I have more to teach 
you. [At gesture from Wu Hoo Git iAe as- 
sistants stop rowing. They get out of boat. 
Music slops. Assistants with bamboo poles 



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exeunt Tight. Property man takes drapery 
away. Assistants retnoie ckatrs. T Ik fourth 
stool is left m center of the stage wttk red 
cushion on U. Proferty man, after gestw, 
id Chorus, sitslefl. Assistants now exeunt 
lefL] Fill your purse. 

Wu Hoo Git. It takes so mueh money 
to love, my Autumn Cloud. 

[Music, he exits right. Ceow Wan 
■watching him exit.] 
Chow Wan. He has flown on wings of 
swiftness for a second pnrse full. 

[She crosses at back to left.] 
Chokus [rising]. 'T is a love nest. 

(Chow Wan opens imaginary door, 
steps over siU, clones door, and 
sits OB stool center. Music con- 

Chow Wan, He has flown on wings of 
swiftness for a second purse full. I must 
wait at home alone. I will change my gown 
to one of softer silt ; dress my head like a 
princess for my Wu Hoo Git. Bring me 
lanterns of blue and pink that their light 
may tint the eye glance of him who con 
Crowd my abode with almond flowers i 
open the lattice so that the moon-rays 
dancing on my goldflsh pond may make 
love to the lantern's light within. Fill the 
air with perfumes of sandal-wood. Bring 
me my handkerchief of pale blue embroid- 
ered with purple wistaria. I must weep at 
my Wu Hoo Git's long delay. Bring my 
Yeuh Chin that I may be playing when his 
footfall tinkles on the path. Place carved 
wood screens about me that no one may 
behold my beauty but him I wait for. He 
comes! He comes 1 My lover returns with 
his purse of gold. 

Yin Subt Gonq. [Enters door left, comes 
down, opens ima^nary door, steps over sill, 
closes door and goes to Chow Wan. Music 
stops.] What do you here alone? 

Chow Wan. Waiting as becomes me. Wu 
Hoo Git is filling his purse with gold drops. 

Yin SoEY Gong. It is not enough. lean 
sell you to an emperor. 

Chow Wan. An emperor! [Rises. 
Moves down right a little and stands with 
back to audience.] Lead me to his fasci- 
nations. 

Yin Swbt Gonq. A chair of lacquered 



gold awaits you. You must approach him 
as becomes his rank. 

Chow Wan. [Music on moon-guitar. 
She goes up to door right and turns.] I will 
approach him closely. 

[Exits door right. Music slops. 
Property man removes atool and 
cushion to left.] 

Yin Scbt Gong. This is my lucky day. 
I've sold all my porcelains, but I must have 
Wu Hoo Git's second purse full to line my 
treasure sack. I must flatter him into an- 
other purchase, or my head will smile from 
a bamboo pole at my crooked trunk. My 
head aj^inst his purse of gold. 

Wu Hoo Git. [Music. Entering door 
left. Tunning to left center.] Chow Wan — 
my Autumn C!oud! I bringthe mountain's 
gold to you. 

Yin Sl'ey Gong. Your purse is welcome. 

Wo Hoo Gir. Where dwells my honor- 
able Autumn Cloud, — Chow Wan? 

Yin St;bt Gong. Drifting in the azure 
sky after a butterfly's perch. 1 will find 
you a spring cloud that is warmer. 

Wu Hoo Git. I understand not your 
speech. 

Yin Suey Gong. The august Wu Hoo 
Git has grown so old in an hour of pleasure 
that he has come to man's estate and should 
now follow the pleasures of an august man. 

Wu Hoo GiT. I want my Autumn Cloud. 

Yin Scet Gong. Kite flying is more tor 
the education of a man who has seen the 
world and grown weary, as you have. 

Wu Hoo Git. But I am not weary. 
Where is my Chow Wan? I have a purse 
of jew<;ls for her. 

Yijj SoEY Gong. You should he au- 
gustly happy, for most men who have seen 
the pleasure path have lost their purse. 
Chow Wan has flown to a daintier nest, 
silk woven. 

Wu Hoo Git, Flown, as the morning 
light comes to greet our love! 

Yin Suey Gong. I will sell you a more 
comforting mate. 

Wu Hoo Git. But I own her heart for I 
bought my august Autumn Cloud with my 
gold. 

Yin Suey Gong. I sold her for the gold 
of another whose puree was deeper. 



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Wtj Hoo Git. But she is completely 
min i-. The crevices of her heart are mine to 
nestle in. She told me so herself. You are 
» thief. 

Yin Soey Gomq. I should not else be 
supremely wise. 

Wu Hoo Git. Bring back my august 
other self to me. You opened Heaven's 
doors of love to me, gave me the sweets of 
life — the perfumed breath of the ages of 
love. Then you close the doors, and tell me 
to find that joy-light again in other eyes. 

Yin Suey Gonc. You had your hour of 
fleeting pleasvtte. Do you expect with your 
small glint of gold to buy a lifetime of hap- 
piness? 

Wu Hoo Git. I am grown to man and I 
can wreak the vengeance of my might on 
him who steals my blessings. 

Yin Suet (Song. Be augustly calm. 
Woman is merely a matter of gold. Give me 
more than he gave and I will buy her back. 
Wu Hoo Git. From the arms of an- 
other? The gods themselves can never make 
her the same Autumn Cloud you stole. 

Yin SuBY Gong. Another will do as well, 
if you close your exalted eyes. 

Wu Hoo Git. You shall change, as she 
has changed, so that all the gods of yester- 
day and the gods of to-morrow cannot 
right you into what you were. I will carve 
your august hump. 

Yin Suey Gong. I will give you back 
your gold for mercy. 

Wu Hoo Git. I am not for sale. Bring 

me your honorable hump that I may chop 

it into the likeness of my Autumn Cloud. 

[Crosses to left.] 

Yin Suet Gong. I will defend my 

august hurap. 

[He drops ftis staff. They stand in 
altitude of fighting. Wu Hoo 
Grr kfl, Yin Suey Gonq right. 
Property man takes short dimbk 
sword in scabbard and one short 
single sword in scabbard, out of 
property box, crosses to center, 
hmids double eword to Yin Sttey 
Gong, single sword to Wu Hoo 
Grr, and retires U> left. During 
fight Tmtsician comes down to 
center below Chokus' table and 



works cymbals. Cymbals crash 
with the striking of swords. The 
whole fight is conducted in a slow 
metkodieai manner, with much 
turning. Wu Hoo Git finally 
cuts off the hump of YiN Soey 
Gong, taking red bag from under 
his coat, and he sinks to the stage 
in a sitting position back totpard 
the left. Properly man places 
pillow for Yin Suey Gong in 
wrong positi4m. He motions him 
to bring it closer, which property 
man does with his foot. Yin 
Suey Gono imip lies down, mak- 
ing himself quite comforUMe. 
Wu Hoo Git stands oner him, 
and as he holds red bag vp at 
arm's length loud crashes of cym- 
bals. Wu Hoo GiT then crosses 
to left and victoriously gives his 
sword to property man..] 

IChow Wan enters left, stands near 
doorway.] 

Wu Hoo Git \going up to her left center 
near door]. Enfold me in your arms. Taste 
my lips again. Chow Wan, my Autumn 
Cloud. [Embracing her.] 

Cbow Wan. [Bitterly goes down, kneels 
and leans over body of Yin Suey Gong.] 
You have killed my Yin Suey Gong, Who 
willsellmenow? Evil spirits clutch at you. 
Depths of night enfold you. 

[FaUs over body tceeping.] 

Wu Hoo Git. I departed his hump for 
selling you from me. 

Chow Wan. He got more adorable gold 
than you could give. 

Wv Hoo Gil [crossing right at back]. Gold 
is not the measure of the heart. 

Chow Wan, Go into the pleasure world 
and see. My monkey, my Yin Suey Gong, 
my beautiful Yin Suey Gong. 

Wu Hoo Grr. Console yourself. [Chow 
Wan looks at him.] I am not going to kill 
him again. 

[GiKLS enter left and cross dovm, to body of 
Yin Suey Gong.] 



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Fah, left of Chow Wan, Mow Dan Fah, 
right of Chow Wan, Yowg 800 Kow, kft of 
See Quoe Fah.] Our poor Yin Sney GonR. 

Chow Wan [pathetically]. Who will traffic 
in our love now? 

Wu Hoo GiT. Gold is the measure of 
your afiection. Your hearts are outbal- 
anced in the scales by a grain of yellow dust 
ID the heart traffic of him I slew. I repent 
his death for in an etil way he was a tutor 
who taught me pleasure; though a traffic 
not smiled upon by the gods, it must have 
some purpose for good or it would not be. 
May he glory in his ancestors I 

Chow Wan. You have no ancestors. 

The Girls. No ancestors? 

Wu Hoo Git. I have tarried too long in 
the way of pleasiire. I go to seek my an- 
cestors. I give him back his hump. 

[Throws red bag on stage. Exits 
door Tighi.] 

Chow Wan. He is monkey-shaped and 
can walk upon the clouds. [Girls hoM 
hands u-p.] He is above human Put back 
his hump and he will live again to traffic m 
out hearts. His superb breath return*! 
His honorable eyes roll to us We will be 
sold again. 

[Mow Dan Fah yjies red bag to 
Chow Wan ] 

Yin Sdey Gong [cominff to kfe During 
scene when Yin Suet Gonq comes to life, 
music effects.] Restore my honorable 
hump — [Chow Wan places it under his 
coal] that 1 may breathe delicious breath 
[Sighs.] He cut it off 

Chow Wan. Wu Hoo Git HewiUpensh 
forhisdeed. He has no ancestors to prav to 

Yin Suey Gong. No ancestors' No 
ancestors! [He rises, picking up staff. 
Girls rise and back away up right.] 1 am 
augustly avenged! To the market place 
for hearts, 

[Girls exeunt right fdloived by 
Yin Suet Gono (o door. Prop- 
erty man kicks death pillow to as- 
sistant left. Then picks up two 
iwards. PtUs them in scabbards 
in box kft.] 

Chorus. IRises.] The Daffodil, tired of 
waiting for results, visits Yin Suey Gong. 

Wu Fah Din, [Enters left, followed by at- 



tendant, who carries red silk cord and stands 
up center.] Where is the pleasure you 
promised me? Where are the delightful 
tintinnabulations of joy at his undoing? 
Feast my eyes. 

Yin Sdey Gono. He has gone. 

Wd Fah Din. Lead me to his destruc- 

YiN Suet Gong. He has gone to seek 
his ancestors. 

Wu Fah Din. A cord about his neck. 
[Attendant comes denan, places cord around 
Yin Suey Gong's neck.] Twist it, that I 
may see his lying tongue swell from Ms 
mouth. 

YiK Suey Gong. Time, give me time. 
When the arrow misses you do not tirow 
tie bow away, but send another shaft on 
truer lines. I will contrive his ruin. 

Wr Fah Din. Give me the cord. [Takes 
end of cord.] Follow to the palace. 

[Starts up for door right.] 

Yin Suey Gong- The scarf chafes my 

Wu Fah Din It remains a gentle re- 
minder, while n e contrive again. 

[Exeunt Tight. Property man's os- 

stslanis place table with cover 

center Chair with cover and 

smaU stool on it right of taMe. 

They exeunt left.] 

Chokub [Ris(s ] 'T is the house of 

Tai Char Shoong the illustrious, father of 

Plum Blossom, the adored heroine of this 

pia'v 

[Enter Pliim Bi o-,som (Moy Fah Lay) and 
'^EE Noi left atid hold picture in door- 
fay] 
Mot Fah Loy. Come quickly. [They 
move down left. Property man stands down 
left with bamboo pole in horizontal position 
across stage.] From the window of this 
room we can see htm pass. 
[Wu Hoo Git enters, comes dovm l^t, 
crosses below property man to right twd 
exits up right.] 
Sei; Noi. What, what, what! 
MoY Fah Loy. Saw you not the youth 
of the kite hill? To the window I Open the 
lattice that I may peep. 

[See Noi opens imaginary shuUeTS.\ 



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SeeNoi. 'TisWuHooGitI Be careful 
lest he aee you. [Pulling her up stage.] Re- 
member your maiden modesty, 

MoY Fah Lot \lonking at Wv Hoo Grr 
through imaginary windoiD.] Saw you ever 
one who walks like him with godlike mien? 
He stands so straight the clouds separate 
to form a pathway for his brain. [Turns, 
looks at See Noi.j He looks not back. His 
eyes are not for woman, but eternities. 
[M.oy'PiLu'LoY doses imaginary shuUers and 
crosses to below (a6ie. Property man retires 
l^t with pole.] Oh! A madness of dejection 
enters my fancy and chills my heart. 

[Enter Tai Chab Shoong left. Strikes pic- 
ture m dowway. Wood block and small 
gong. Coming dtrwn left between See 
Noi and Mot Fah Lot.] 

Tai Char Shoong, See Noi! Let my 
Plum Blossom be robed in richness becom- 
ing the birth of my daughter. 

|Pldu Blossom crosses to See 

Noi, who goes to door with her as 

she exits left.] 

[Crosses and Hts right of table.] See Noi, I 

am about to give my daughter in betrothal. 

[See Noi comes down left.] 

See Noi. I feared it, illustrious master. 

Tai Char Shoong. How dare you tear 
what I command I You have loosed your 
tongue to my daughter. 

See Not (fiightened]. No more than she 
has heard herself; gossip, breeze carried 
flirough each window lattice. 

Tai Char Shoong. And of what do 
busy tongues complain? 

See Noi. Of the future mother-in-law 
of her you would give in marriage. 

Tai Chak Sroono. A perfect woman, 
filled with knowledge of what a wife should 
be. 

See Noi. 'T is whispered her son's first 
wife died of his mother's accomplishments. 

Tai Chah Shoong. What more could 
she have done for my daughter's sake? 

See Noi. If it must be ao, may she pos- 
sess a hundred children and a thousand 
grandchUdren. 

Tai Chab Shoong. It is too few to wish 
her. [Music.] 

Mot Fah Loy. [Enters left, richly 



gowned, comes down to below table center. 
Bows.] Honorable father, I have done 
your bidding. 

Tai Char Shoong. [He holds out his 
hand. She comes to him.] Let a smile of 
joy dwell upon your lips and behave in 
your most graceful manner, for the Widow 
of Ching comes to negotiate for the mar- 
riage of her son. 

Moi Fak Loy. [Turns front. Eyes down, 
head turned away.] I smile in the house of 
my father, I might weep in the home of his 

Tai Chab Shoong. A wife must take 
what the gods bestow upon her. liiisee.j 
Now approaches the august mother-in-law. 
Forget not the courtesies of such a meeting. 

[Music. The Widow and maid enter on a 
■wheelbarrow trundled by assistant, fol- 
lowed by another with green card. They 
cross down left, then to right and up. 
Assistant presents card to Tai Char 
Shoong, who crosses to left, then assists 
them to alight from wheelbarrow and 
exits right. Assistant with wheelbarrow 
exits nght.] 
Widow. Tai Char Shoong, 1 bestow 
upon this house a bow. 

[Bows. Maid takes smaU stool off 
chair and as Wroow «(s, places U 
■under feel and retires back of her.] 
Tai Char Shoong. And I bestow upon 
the Widow of our great mandarin, de- 
parted to his ancestors, and the mother of 
our youthful mandarin, a bow. [All bow 
again.] Bring jade cups of i«a and pipe, 

[Property man brings tray with two 
tea bowls and two cups and 
Chinese pipe. Places fray on 
table center. Then lights pipe 
and crosses to left and sits.] 
Wroow. Is this Moy Fah I/oy? 
MoY Fah Lot. I am Moy Fah Loy. 

[BeUtw table, bovdng to her.] 

Widow. Let me observe you. Turn 

about with graceful composure. [She does 

so.] Your hair is arranged complacently; 

your feet are large. 

Tai Chab Shoong. [Down left.] That 
she may walk tlie easier to attend upon her 
mother-in-law. 



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Widow. Let me observe the nails of 
your fingers. There is a liair left in one eye- 
brow. It shows carelessness ia preparing 
for my observation. Your lips should be 
painted thinner. Can you embroider? 

[See Noi gives lighted pipe to maid.] 

Mot Fah Loy. Kingfishers and storks. 

Widow. Good birds, both. [Maid gives 
pipe U> Wmow.] Can you prepare with 
daintiness sweetmeats, watermelon seeds, 

[SAe pvffs pipe. Returns if to maid 
who then hand» it to See Noi, 
who places it on fobZe.] 

Tai Cbah Shoong [saiUy]. Her august 
mother, divinely departed, instructed her 
in the virtues of the home. 

Widow. Permit me, Tai Char Shoong, 
to examine into your daughter's virtues, 
aa I am augustly versed in virtues. You 
should wait upon me, your mother-in-law, 
with modest obeisance. 

Tai Char Shoong. Could she be other 
than a worshipful slave to such an honor- 
able mother-in-law? 

MoY Fah Loy, There are thirty-sis 
kinds of mother-in-law, and she is every 

Widow. I will bestow upon you because 
of the excellence of this house, ten thousand 

Tai Char Shoong. My house and 
daughter are illustriously honored. 

Widow. [Rises. Maid picks up stooi as 
Widow rises and places it on chair.) We 
will gracefully take the daughter of Tai 
Char Shoo:^ into our hearts and home. 

Tai Chab Shoong. The splendor of the 
honor of bestowing such a mother-in-law 
upon my daughter dazzles my modest eyes. 

Widow. 1 take my departure. You are 
augustly blessed, my Plum Blossom, in 
having me to guide your way, in my illus- 
trious son's house. 

MoY Fah Loy. Augustly blessed ! 

Widow- [Crossing up to door. Tai Chab 
Shoono goes to <Aove tobU.] Prepare your 
gracious self for the six ceremonies within 
three days, for I need your worthy service 
in my home. 

[Bows and exits, preceded by maid. 
Tai Chah Shoong bows and 



exits Tip right. Property man 
crosses to table, fakes tea tray and 
pipe. Smokes pipe as he crosses 
to left. Places them in box left 
and sits.] 
MoY Fah Loy [going to See Noi vp right, 
who hoMs her in her arms]. My mother-in- 
law! [Loofeini/ up.] Bring me poison! 

See Noi. Say not so, honorable one. 
Think on tbe family. 

MoY Fah Lot. Lead me to the tablets 
of my mother that 1 may prav to her and 

[l/uaic They exeunt nohl prop 
erfy man and asi^tstanl-- arrange 
four chavrs acriss stage with 
backs to audience and a stool 
center Property man erosafs to 
center and Bipennfends placing 
of chair% Oier the backs of the 
clavrs beginning from the right 
property man places white ckth 
tablets on which are pawled rn 
Chineie character!, the follovnng 
Tiames Chum Shou Moy Kwat 
Fah Loy Moy Fah Loy He 
gels Ihe tuo t(AleL mixed on the 
chaws left of stool center and 
after reading the names changes 
them iffer so placing the tablets 
properly man stts on ''tool left 
and starfa to read paper. An as- 
sistant enters with bowl of rice. 
Gives it to property man, who 
smiles and takes it. Assistant 
exits. Properfy man then bows 
,to Chorus who has become an- 
noyed at delay, and then sits and 
begins eating rice with chop 
slicks. MuMc during this busi- 

Chorus. 'T is the resting place of the 
bodies of the departed. 

Wu Hoo GiT. lEnlers left, comes right of 
stool center. Music forte unlil he gets to cen- 
ter, then stops. Looks at tablets.] Here in the 
city of tbe dead I will find my impressive 
ancestors. 1 will pray at the tombs for the 
gods lo give me an honorable mother. I 
must have had an ai^ust father once, for 
every one, they say, has had at least one 
august father. I will pray at the tombs for 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



29S 

the gods to give me an honorable mother, 
with a delicate name — one that drops like 
a sweet song from the lips. [Reads, chair 
first right.] Chum Shou, "Graceful Long 
Life." 1 like not her name. [Crosses right.] 
1 will not pray to her. Here is a tomb that 
is deep in the ashes of burned paper money. 
I will dust away the ashes with my solemn 
breath. [Blows on UAtet, then reads tablet 
number two right.] May Kwai Fah Loy, 
"Rose Bud." I care not for roses. With 
my solemn breath 1 cover her again with 
ashes. [Blows breath on tablet, moves to kft.] 
Here is a quiet ancestral tablet. From 
within issues precious light. [Reads number 
one fo/(.| Moy Fah Loy, "Plum Blossom." 
I like plums and I have scented the per- 
fume of the blossoms. I will take Plum 
Blossom for motherhood. [Pro'peTly man 
puts doum bowl of riee and places cushion be- 
fore chair left center, holding chop sticks in 
other hand.] I kneel [does so], for I have 
found an exemplary tablet that conforms 
to my adorable self. [Music.] Plum Bios- 
Bom mother, to you whom I find late in life, 
my speech choked with tears, my heart 
weaty with long suffering, I kneel. 

[Property man takes bamboo pole 
from waU loft, crosses to right of 
Chohtis' table and stands wiUi 
back to the audience — holding 
pole in perpendicular position.] 
Chobtjs. 'T is a celestial weeping-willow 



Chorus. The maiden peeps from the 

shadow of the tree at the youth of her fancy. 

[Music stops.] 

Moy Fah Loy. Who kneels at the tab- 
lets of my Plum Blossom mother? 

Wti Hoo Git. An august child just born 
to her. What fairy of beauty crosses my 
prayer! A princess in dress and carriage, a 
lily foot. Light radiates from her person 
and shines through her garments. Eaiae 
your fan to me. 

Moy Fah Lot. [fn surprise does so. Then 
covers her face again.] 1 did not mean to do 
it. [To audience.] 'T is he of the kite hill. 



Wu Hoo GiT. Painted banner of love! 
You fill the pockets of my eyes with 
gracioustiess. I like you. I wish that you 
were buried here that 1 might take you to 
motherhood. 

Moy Fah Lot. It is my mother that lies 
there, and I came to burn incense at her 
tablets. 

Wu Hoo Git. [Rises, goes up to her,] I 
will assist your honorable hands. 

Moy Fan Loy. It is most unholy to 
speai to a man — 

Wu Hoo Git. At the grave of our ex- 
alted mother? 

Moy Fah Loy. I like your voice. It is 
sweet. [She sits stool center. Property man 
crosses left and places pole against umll left 
and then sits.] I will be unholy while See 
Noi, my maid, yonder in the flowery path 
prays to her mother's ashes and sees me 

Wu Hoc Git. I selected the right 
mother. 

Moy Fah Loy. Then she is not your real 
honorable mother? 

Wu Hoo Git. I liked her name and 
thought she would be an honorable mother. 
I needed one, 

Moy Fah Lot. I am glad you chose her. 
I could n't have spoken to you if you had 
not been one of our sublime family. 

[Peeps at him through fan.] 

Wu Hoo Git. I can behold with my 
eyes your celestial heart through the lattice 
of your fan. 

Moy Fah Lot. How wonderful you are ! 
The openings are so small for you to peep 
through and my heart is so auguatly large. 

Wu Hoo Git, 1 know the august woman 
heart. I have traveled the road of pleasure, 
I have sailed on the flowery sea of sin. 

[Crosses to right.] 

Moy Fah Loy, How enchanting! You 
walk like an emperor. [He stops walking.] 
Walk for me. 

Wu Hoo Git, I walk. [Moves several 
steps toward her.] How old are yon? You 
must be forty, you are so beautiful and 

Moy Fah Loy [tapping her fan]. Walk. 
Wu Hoo Git. I walk. [Crosses to left.] 
Moy Fah Loy. Walk with your vener- 



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able footsteps nearer, that I may see you 
through my fan. [He turns loicard her.] Not 
with your eyes fixed upon me, but your 
head held high in majesty, 

Wu Hoo Git. I should walk into your 
eyes and lips. 

MoY Fah Lot. Then I could not use 

Wtr Hoo Git. There is a way. [Kneeling 
left of h£r.] I have learned it. 

Mor Fah Lor. From another maiden? 
[Turns her back on him. ] 1 do not know 
auRUstly why, but I do not like that. 

Wu Hoo GiT. I will teach you. 

MoY Fah Lot, Then I shall have trav- 
eled the fSowcry paths just aa far as you. 
[Turns to him again.] 

Wu Hoo Git. Augustly deign to place 
your eyes this way. I would have celestially 
sworn that I had measured the depths and 
heights of joy; I only stood on the rim of 
the false jade eup till I looked into your 
eyes. 

Mot Fah Lot [drawing away from him 
slowly]. We are forgetting our mother. 

Wo Hoo Git. I have a thought. [Rises.] 
If you are my sister and I am your brother, 
I had better adopt another mother. 

Mot Fah Lot. Tell me why? 

Wd Hoo Git. We cannot love unless 
you will be my mother-wife. 

MoY Fah Lov. What shall we do? I am 
on the threshold of betrothal. 

Wu Hoo Git. Then I renounce our 
mother and will contend with him who 
seeks your hand. 

Mot Fah Lot. [Rises. SmUing.} Let us 
augustly kneel and bum incense and pray 
to find a way. 

[They kneel before chair number 
<me, UfL] 

See Noi. [Enters door left, crosses to 
right at back and down right.} Moy Fah 
Loy, Plum Blossom; do my eyes deceive 
me I On her knees with a man, and she was 
left in my exalted care I 

Mot Fah Lot. Is that you, See Noi? I 
was ei^rossed in prayer. 

See Noi. [Crosses (oPldm Blossom.] All 
the prayers of all the gods and all the world 
burned up in an incense pot could not save 
you now. [Takes her by the arm. PuUs her 



to right center.] You are ruined. You have 
spoken to a man ! 

Mor Fah Loy. He is my brother. 

See Noi- Impossible! I knew your 
mother. 

Mot Fah Lot. He has adopted my 
mother. He had none, so I gave him half of 
mine. You taught me charities. [Assistant 
removes two UMets from chair left <ff stool 
center, rolls them and ivakes properly man. to 
give them to him. Then lakes second chair 
left and places it up left, back to aiidience. 
The otlier chair left of stool he removes to watt 
kft.] Halt my mother was all I had to 
give. 

See Noi. Evil spirits have you. Your 
maiden modesty has flown. You have 
talked with a man ! 

Wo Hoo Git. I will marry her, for she is 

See Noi. Plum Blossom, daughter of 
Tai Char Shoong, marry a man without a 
mother! The maiden bloom of her cheek 
you have brushed away. You have blighted 
the fruit of her usefulness. Her father will 
behead me for this dishonor. 

Wu Hoo Git. I will make her happier 
than a father could. 

See Noi. Your doors are not opposite. 
Your wealth cannot match hers. You have 
no mother and are unequal. Home, I say! 
[Takes Plum Blossom up to door right, 
sobHriff.] And see my gray head pay the 
price your shamed virtue brings upon your 
father's house. 

Moy Fah Lot. I must be very wicked 

[They exeunt See Noi crying 

Property man pieki vp red 

cishion and places i( left near 

property box ] 

Wu Hoo GiT. [Follous up to door and 
turns.] It I am to believe mv e\es I haie 
lost true love. Shadows enru^cle me \\ho 
are you, the rapping of whose bamboo 
stick, tapping its way hither in measured 
tread, encroaches on my silence? 

[Enter door left, Maun Gung, blind fortune- 
teller, accompanied by rapping on wood 
block in orchestra. Down left, crosses 
and up right before speaking. Carries 
long bamboo site*:, uhirh he raps on 



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Maun Gunc. The blinds of darkness 
have been drawn across the windows of 
my head. I see not. I am a beggar; the 
past, tbe present and the future parade 
before me. I know aU. 

Wu Hoc Git. How can you know when 
you cannot see ? 

Maun Guno. Let your kindness loose 
its purse-string to help me on my stumbling 
way aod I will tell. 

WuHooGrr. [Gives m^mey.] How know 
you life with holes for eyes? 

Maun Gung. I look within. There lies 
all there is to know. 

Wu Hoo Grr. Then you are not a 
prophet of the days to come? 

Maun Gung. I read the days to come 
by the Lght of the days that have gone. 
My brain sights travel the ghostly ways of 
memory. What a man was, he is; and what 
he is, he will be. A foo! can prophesy. 

Wu Hoo GiT. Know you the year and 
moon of my birth? 

Maun Gung. Not so, for your birthday 
was the death day of what you were before. 

Wu Hoo Grr. Was I born rich or poor? 

Maun Gung. You were born rich, tor 
your mind is rich and that is all. 

Wu Hoo GiT. Whom seek I? 

Maun Gung. You have a youthful 
voice, therefore warm blood is in your 
veins. You seek your love-mate. 

Wu Hoo GiT. And will she come to me? 

Maun Gung. If you pray to your ven- 
erated ancestors to guide her right. 

Wd Hoo Git IfearfvUy.] And if 1 have 
no ancestors? 

Maun Gung [raising slick]. Even my 
bamboo has its celestial shadow and, if you 
have no ancestors, you are an unwanted 
soul cast back on the shores of earth to 
starve of joy. 

Wu Hoo Grr. Speak not sol I will not 

Maun Gung. You like not the tcutb. 

Wu Hoo Git [angrily]. 1 will send you 
to your ancestors to plead for me. 

Maun Gung. I cannot plead to them. 
I will live forever there, but will not know 



my neighbors. Learn for yourself, as I 
have. [Exits, tapping cane, door right.] 

Wu Hoo Git. Stay, teU me more t He 
goes from me as all have done in the world. 
Everything I touch turns to blackness in 
my hand. [Properly man stands on chair up 
left witk bamboo pole an4 silk cord mth 
noose.] 1 behold a weeping willow. I shall 
die on its branch, then my love will be 
sorry. I will find my ancestors. 

[Stands on stool center. Props 
lower pole. He puts noose aronnd 
his neck. Then jumps off stool.] 

Chorus. He hangs himself, but fear not, 
the spirit of his mother watehes over him, 
and will send a wayfarer who will cut him 

[Enter Git Hok Gab left, crosses down. left. 
Sees Wu Hoo Git and backs away to 
left. Large gong. He then turns to 
property man, who holds out sword to 
him. He lakes U and cuts at cord.] 

Wu Hoo Git. Who are you that would 
take from me the joy of compelling the 
world to miss me? 

GiT Hok Gar. The world laughs when 
there is one less mouth to feed. If you 
would make the world respect you, stay 
and fight it. 

Wu Hoo Git. [Takes off noose. Bubs 
throat.] I prefer my celestial breath. 

Git Hok Gar. Dying hurts unneces- 
sarily. [Property tnan grabs sword from 
him and puts it in box, then places pole 
against waU left. Grr Hok Gar turns and 
lookB al him. Assistant crosses to right and 
removes tablets from chairs and places them 
in box left. Turning to Wu Hoo Git.] You 
are too young to seek death. What leads 
you to this making off? 

Wu Hoo GiT. The loss of a love that 
encircles my life like a star light-ringed. 

Git Hok Gah. To enjoy love you must 
enjoy life. 

Wu Hoo Git. I am a worldless man. 
Even at the threshold of my days — I am 
shameful. 1 have no shadows, no ancestors 
to bring a blessing to my love. 

Git Hok Gar. Have you no home? 

Wu Hoo Git. My father and mother 
are foster. 



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Git Hok Gar. Then you owe them more 
than those who, in giving you life, had a 
duty toward you. Home! You are rich in 
mind, which is all. [Crosses up right.] 

Wv Hoo Git. But the circle about my 
heart. My love ring! 

GiT Hok Gab. Make yourself great in 
right living and your ancestors will find 
you. Cheerful, my boy, I will lead you to 
your home and my gray head will find you 
life and love, which I missed for want of 
guidii^. Come ! To your home ! 

[Th^yexeunl right. Propeiiyman's 
aasisiant removes one chair to 
wall right. The other he places 
against Chorus' (oWe arid an- 
otker assistant takes stool from 
cettter and places it against the 
chair and below it. Property Ttum 
then places sivord on it, dusting it 
first.] 
Chorus. 'T is again the house of Lee 
Sin, the farmer. [Music.] 

Suet Sin Fah. [Enters left, followed by 
Leb Sin. They come dmim left, open imagi- 
nary door, step over the sill, LEtiSltf closes the 
door.] Will he never come, Lee Sin? 
Leb Sin. When he has learned tlie world. 
Suet Sin Fah. He has forgotten us. 
LbeSin. My majestic ox does not forget 
the stall where he is fed. 

[Crosses to right. Music.] 
WuHooGiT. [Enters viith GitHokGar]. 
My home, the door. 

Git Hok GAR[lefi of him]. Enter bravely 
and make amends. 

Wu Hoo Git. lam ashamed. You go first. 
GiT HoK Gar. [Raps an imaginary door. 
Opens door. Enters.] I am Git Hok Gar, 
philosopher. Have you a son? 
Sue* Sin Fah. Not dead! 
Git Hok Gar. He is at your threshold 
seeking forgiveness. 

Wd Hoo Git. [Enters imaginary door. ] 
May I enter? 

8dey Sin Fah. Wu Hoo Git, my boy, 
my Wu Hoo Git I 

[Embraeee kim, weeping. Git Hok 
Gar moves up right.] 
WtrHooGiT. I choke! [Croaaea to cen- 
ter.] How are the august rice fields, the 
loom and the ox? 



Suet Sin Fah. You have n 

Wu Hoo Git, I am learning to remem- 
ber, for memory comes with love, and I 
have met one who lit the enchanting candle 
in my heart. Her lips are flower buds that 
open with delight at the warmtli of my su- 
perb kisses, but even as my day broke with 
a roseate dawn, a despair cloud crossed the 
sky, and death hovered in my path. I have 



t forgotten 



Sdet Sin Fah. My poor boy! 

Wd Hoo Git. Pity toe not. I 
sneers at pity. Open the door of knowledge 
to me. Who are my ancestors? 

Lbe Sin. They are — 

StTBT Sin Fah. No! No! 

Lbe Sin. I will toll ! 

Stjby Sin Fah. It will cost us his life and 

Lek Sin. I care not. [Crosses to Wv Hoo 
Git. Tai Char Shoong enters dragging 
Plum Blossom by the hand.] I murdered 
for love of you. RTiat must our boy suffer 
for love ! Your father was — 

Tai Char Shoong. [Who has come down 
left.] Dwells Wu Hoo Git here? 

Wu Hoo Git. I am the august Wu Hit 
Git. Who arc you that break upon us like 
an angry sea? 

Tai Char Shoong. Father of the glo- 
rious Plum Blosson, whom you betrayed. 

Wu Hoo Git. I found your celestial 
daughter at the tablets of her mother. She 
was pure and beautiful and I loved her. 

Moy Fah Lot. And 1 loved him. 

Tai Char Shoong. [To Wu Hoo Git.] 
Your (iays are numbered. 

Wu Hoo Git. Not by the count of man. 

Tai Char Shoong. But by a father's 

Wu Hoo Git. I will marry her, and 
make her mine. 

Tai Chab Shoong. You, without an- 
cestors I 

SuEV Sin Fah. Season your anger while 
1 speak ! To your knees, Wu Hoo Git, and 
receive your sacred heritage. [He kneels, 
back to audieTice.] Raise your eyes heaven- 
ward. [She takes out baby jacket with 
Chinese letters on it.] Your mother now 
speaks. 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Wu Hoo GiT. My mother! 

SuEY Sin Fah [shomng him the baby 
jacket]. Each blood-stain from this baby 
jacket is the history of your being and 
breathes a mother's blessing. 

Wu Hoo Git. My soul! — my mother! 

SuEY Sin Fah. These hnea are too sacred 
for me to voice. Your lips alone must form 
the words. 

Wu Hoo Git. My eyes are choked with 
tears. Breathe my mother's name. 

SuEY Sin Fah. Chee Moo, the beautiful ! 

Wu Hoo Git. Chee Moo! I feel her a 
little above my head. 

Leb Sin. And your father — 

Wu Hoo Git. My father! The high- 
way of too much joy opens to my famished 

Lee Sin. Wu Sin Yin, the Great. 

WuHooGiT. The Great I 

Tai Char Shoong. It this were true, 
Ww Hoo Git would rule this province where 
the Daffodil, son of Wu Sin Yin, the Great, 
now sits in splendor. 

Wo Hoo GiT. My mother crowns me 
with a truth cloud. I will prove her air 
message for her I love. 

Tai Chab Shoong. 1 believe you not! 
Make your boasting words realities and 
Plum Blossom is yours. 

Wu Hoo Git. And so I will. But what 
have I to guard the way of life? 

Lee Sin. [Who has taken, sword from ekair 
up center now comes dovni.] This sword of 
courage. 

(Giws sword to Wu Hoo Git and 
steps back a Htlk.] 

SueySinFah. [Gives baby Jacket.] And 
this guiding star of a mother's love to 
armor him. 

Wu Hoo Git. A mother's love ! 

MoY Fah Loy [crossing to center]. Make 
a prayer each day big enough to match it 
and I will do so, too, 

(SuEY Sin Fah and Lee Sin retire 
up stage right.] 

Wu Hoo GiT- I will write your name on 
my hand-palms that everything I touch 
and feel will be Plum Blossom. I may 
never clasp my home and heart again. Let 
me mingle my breath with yours. 

Git Hok Gar [crossing to left]. You are 



already breathing the harshness of the 
world. You must fulfil the life for which 
your mother died. [Two assistant property 
men. with chariot banners enter door U^t and 
stand each side of it.] A stern way is licking 
your feet. Come! Your glorious chariot 
awaits you. 

Wu Hoo Git. [Rising. Crosses to Git 
HoK Gab left.] Carry I naught away with 
me but honorable memories and leave all 
behind me at this doorway of farewells? 

MoY Fah Lot. [Crosses to center.] Yes, 
one part of me you take. My way shall be 
crippled till your return, then restore it to 

Wu Hoo GiT. Speak the joy you have 
in store for me. 

MoY Fah Loy. [rotes off slipper.] My 
slipper ! Let it bide next your heart on your 
weary way. In the hour of frightful neces- 
sity shake it and I will come to you. 

[Gives it to kirn.] 
Wu Hoo Git. What do you meantime 
without your august slipper? 

Mor Fah Loy. Stand on one leg Ukea 
bird. 

Wn Hoo Git. On one leg like an august 
bird! [Kisses Pldm Blossom.] 

SueySinFah. Wu Hoo Git! [Music] 
Git HoK Gar. Come! Mount! 

[Git Hok Gar goes up and standi 
betweeTi by lAe chariot banners.} 
Wu Hoo Git. I go to seek my heritage. 
[They start across the stage, ac- 
companied by the chariot banners. 
Plum Blossom hops on one fool 
and stands on chair up center, 
waving farewell.] 
Lee Sin. Courage, my boy ! Courage ! 
[They go to right, then up stage and 

Wu Hoo GiT. Farewell! 

[Holding slipper up in the air.] 



Chords [appearing through opening in 
tableau curtain and bowing], I bow in per- 
sonal appreciation of your approval, if 
truly manifest, of ray Wu Hoo Git, upon 
whom my fancy will now bestow the Yellow 
Jacket and the Peacock Feather. I speak 
in the first person, for I am accustomed to 



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aduktion, and it does not in the least dis- 
compose me. My brothers of the Pear Tree 
Garden are far otterwiae; a little flattery 
upsets theii modest equipoise. While there 
may be those who desire to secure the credit 
or discredit, I will say, — your generosity 
forces me to admit it, — I wrote this play 
— a mere trifle. I composed the music, too. 
I teught them the story of my grandilo- 
quent imagination. I showed them where 
to walk, how to talk. In my august fancy 
I painted the scenes. My menial, the prop- 
erty man, at my august celestial suggestion, 
will now give them thunder-clouds and 
snow-storms to assist their meager inter- 
pretation. The play is mine, the acting 
virtually mine. Such remuneration as you 
have bestowed upon us by your gracious 
patronage, I accept. Such sums as I may 
deem necessary I shall pass on to my 
brothers. At the end of the play you may 
call them before you if you like. It will 
please me, and praise them sparingly, but 
oS course, I shall know that you know that 
the celestial thought was wholly and mod- 
estly mine. I how. [Exits.] 



ACT III 

After house curtain is raised property man 
comes hrfore tableau curtains, nalks back and 
forth across stage, beating targe gong. As he 
exits behind the curtains, orchestra on stage 
begins to play. At crask of cymbals Chorus 
comes before tableau curtains. 

Chorus. I still observe my honorable 
way and come to you, making my words 
brief and less ai^ust at each superb pres- 
entation of myself, for the more my broth- 
ers have to say the less need I . The second 
father-in-law, Tai Fah Min, though dead, 
still lives in spirit to retard Wu Hoo Git's 
at^uBt progress. But, forget not that our 
hero is older and augustly wiser. Having 
wearied of rice wine and song girls, ha now 
approaches the portals of celestial phi- 
losophy. Ail men approach the godlike 
realms of thoughtful sufficiency after the 
bodily attainments wane. I bow. [Turns 
bofk to audience and ai gesture uHth kis fan ■ 



tableau curtains are drawn. Widks to his 
table, center, as miuie is played, before speak- 
ing. Four stools have been placed across 
stage ointer, spaces between Ihem. Property 
man discovered sitting on stool right center. 
When Chorus gets to table he rises and in- 
dicates the scene.] The Daffodil takes his 
steps among his mulberry bushes, watching 
the silkworms spin while he threads his 
brain with evil. 

[Music continues. Daffodil enters, cmnes 
to stool, left center, does business of 
smelling imaginary bushes, then goes to 
center. Property man bri?igs flowers for 
him to smeU, — v^hich he waves aside 
scornfully. Property man returns flow- 
ers to box left and then crosses to right at 
back and stands at upper end of drapery, 
which is hung to form a screen a6oui a 
chair placed upon a (oWe against woU 
right and represents the Dapfoml's 
palace. Piano during speech.] 
Wd Fah Din. 1 apologize for the appar- 
ent inadequacy of my brain against Wu 
Hoo Git's brawn. I am ss disappointed 
as you are that I have not been able to 
kill this young Wu Hoo Git. Beai with 
me, however, for I will eventually do so. 
Wu Hoo Git not only lives, but starts on 
a journey to take my place in lite and 
despatch me. Such a result would be de- 
plorable, as you know. I had with my 
kindness of nature planned for him a gently 
lingering death. I must now unkindly kilt 
him outright, for your entertaimnent. I 
must be most careful in so doing, for, if I 
kill him, despising brute force as I do, my 
subjects, who should be his subjects, would 
immortjdize him and the truth would come 
out. I have discovered some truths also 
about myself which I prefer not to have 
known. I shall retire to my palace. [Indi- 
cates it and moves up right. Properly man 
dusts drapery] and on my cushioned throne, 
watch fromitsbattlements. [Ascends throne. 
Screened by drapery.] I invoke all the subtle 
forces of my brain against Wu Hoo Git's 
brawn. I will impede his journey toward 
my person and my throne. I will throw 
death evils in his pathway. I will place 
before him a lofty mountain peak — that 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



he may exhaust himself in climbing over it. 

I direct the battle with my fan. 

[Disappears behind drapery. Prop- 
tables /ram lefl. Place them cen- 
ter, touching each other, and put 
tfco stools which are now under- 
neath the tobies on top of them. 
Property man crosses right, beloio 
ttAks, and stands at upper end of 

Chobus. 'T is a lofty mountain peak. 

[Property man rests elbow on upper 

stool and puts head in his hands,] 

[Enter Wv Hoo Git and Git Hok Gar, 
Music.] 

Wu Hoo Git. [Crosses to center, below 
lobU.] Show me the battle-ground. Must I 
contend here, or shall I wander farther? 

Git Hok Gar [left]. No man can foresee 
hia battle-ground. Every shadow or dark- 
ening cloud may bring him peril. The way 
grows long. Think, my boj-. 

Wu Hoo Git {crossing to Git Hok Gab]. 
I can think when I am dead. Love quickens 
my desire for triumphant vengeance, that 
1 may conquer all, secure my throne, and 
place Plum Blossom on a seat of love be- 

GiT Hok Gar [turning, looks at imaginary 
mountain, center]. What! Must we drag 
ourselves over another mountain, with its 
ragged roof? 

Wu Hoo Git. I shall o'ertop them all, 
for nothing shall stay my progress. [Climbs 
to top of stools on liMe, center, asstsling him- 
self by holding imaginary branches. Then 
helps Git Hok Gar lo mount tabU.] From 
the o'ertopping view I see the tiled roof 
where bides Plum Blossom. I see my home, 
too, and pcacefulness behind me. 

GitHokGab. And before you monsters, 
terrors and murder to overcome. 

Wu Hoo Git. I care not, for all my tasks 
now are born of love. Come on! [Starts to 
descend from, table. As he f^aces foot on stool 
right of table, cymbals crash.] 1 feel a hand 
of ice encircling my sublime leg. 

Git Hok Gar. It is an evil stream spirit 
that would drag you in. Cleave it with 
your fiery sword. 



Wu Hoo Git. I would 
cleave [starts lo draw sword], but it ia gone. 
[Turning to Git Hok Gah, smiling.] It 
overheard my solemn thought. You can 
crush enemies and friends with the weight 
of the tongue. 

[Descends to stage, assists Git Hok 
Gab lo descend and they exeunt ' 
right. Music, Property man's 
assistant takes one table and stool 
and moves it left. Another re- 
nmiies the far table and stool to 
left.] 
Wu Fah Din. [Appears above drapery.] 
He is such an impetuous youth, is he not? 
See how madly he is rushing into the dan- 
gers I am preparing for him. His climbing 
of that mountain was a mere exhibition of 
brawn. I will confront him with the raging 
torrent. 

[Retires behind drapery. Property 
man crosses to right, picks up 
end of plank which lies below the 
two stools. Assistant picks up 
left end of plank. As they place 
it on stools property man pre- 
tends lo have hurt kis finger. An- 
other assistant looks at it sym- 
pathetieally. Properly mart in- 
dicates scene and they retire lo 
left] 
Chorus. 'T is a wayward river and 
bridge. 

Wu Fah Din. [Rises behind drapery.] 
Bridge! Bridge! I had hopes of this river, 
but my gentle mind overlooked the bridge. 
However, it may be a weak bridge. 

[Retires behind drapery. Wu Hoo 
Git and Git Hok Gab enter 
door lefL Music for erdrance. 
They come lo left center.] 
Git Hok Gar. Water confronts us. 
WuHooGit. But see, a span of thought- 
ful kindness awaits us. 

Git Hok Gab. The chasm is so deep 
and chill and the way across so narrow. 
Let us go about and find a safer crossing. 
[He crosses down to extreme left.] 
Wo Hoo Git. Come on! It has been 
left us by brave souls who have passed 
before. 

Git Hok Gar. go jn nil journeys in life, 



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bridges have been built by those who left 
their deeds behind them. 

Wu Hoo Git. Armored with courage, I 
draw my sword of progress! The end will 
never be seen if my first footfall weakens. 
[Steps on bridge from left. .Falls to kis knee.] 
I stumble to my knee. 

Git Hok Gab. The gods would make 
you humble at starting. 

Wu Hoo Git. A silent prayer to the 
baby-mother message. [He prayeTfuUy 
kisses garment.] Behold! The spirits ate 
satisfied. They rock us not. IGit Hok Gar 
mounts bridge from kft.] In the water, 
mirrored below, I see a face like my own. 
It has lines of evil in it. 

Git Hok Gab. The serpent Unea of your 
father's face crawl in yours by reflection. 

Wd Hoo Git. Is my faee a snake's nest? 
What must I do to cleanse it? 

Git Hok Gar. Bathe it in the sunshine 
of virtue. 

Wd Hoo Git. Behold 1 over my father's 
shoulder grins the fox's face again that 
molests my sight. 

Git Hok Gab. It is Tai Fah Min, who 
gloats at yoiir struggle to be free from tie 
curse of a father's crime, 

Wu Hoo Git. What shall I do? 

Git Hok Gar. Purify your soul and he 
will flee with the snake face. 

Wn Hoo Git. In the mirror of the sub- 
lime water I now behold precipices, depths, 
valleys, snow- en circled peaks! Birds swim 
in the pearly air below the clouds like fishes 
in the clear stream beneath. The fox face 
again molests my sight! I will consult my 
garment of direction, [Observing garment 
again.] The lines trickle toward the eastern 
path at the bridge's end, with mother blood 
drops larger to indicate the way. Come on ! 
For Plum Blossom 1 conquer on earth and 
in Heaven. [Gets off bridge to right] 

Git Hok Gar [foUomng hxm]. My brave 
boy. We step upon a tiny peak of yellow 

[Mxmc. They exeunt right. Prop- 
erty man and assistaiil remove 
stools and plank, leaving stage 

. Wd Fah Dm [appears]. It is useless for 
me to tell you of the tear in his heart as he 



crossed that bridge. He was continually 
calling out for a woman. I will tJirow an 
inky darkness in his path, that it may af- 
fright him- [Retires behind drapery.] 

Chorus. 'T is a thunder- cloud. 
[Music. Lo'v Gong enters di>or righl, stamps 
around in a circle just instil door, fin- 
ishing, right center.] 
Wd Hoo Git, [Enters door left with Git 
Hok Gar. Comes to left center.] Wto are 
you that impedes my way with elan 



Lot Gong. 1 am Loy Gong, the God of 
Thunder, requested by a world-power to 
o'ershadow you. 1 keep mortal aspirations 
down for the other gods through bellowii^ 

[flits standard with hammer. Cym- 
bals.] 

Wu Hoo GiT. But I fear you not. My 
wisdom buds with courage, impregnable to 
gods and man, and teaches me that every 
word-might or heavenly power has one still 
higher before whoa it quails — called love. 

Lot Gonc. And what is love? 

Wu Hoo Git. For me. Plum Blossom. 

Loy Gong. And what flower fear 1 when 
the floor of Heaven bends beneath my 

Wu Hoo Git. The skyflower — the au- 
gust rainbow of good thoughts and deeds! 
[Loy Gona drops hammer.] Before its seven 
light-rays you crouch in silence. 

LoY Gong [fearfully]. I would fill your 
purse, to keep mv secret forif mj weakness 
were known to man, I should lose my sol- 
emn fearfulness 

Wd Hoo Git [with contempt] Mj wis- 
dom cannot be purchased 

Loy Gong I will welcome \ou on my 
icy peaks and whisper music to \ou 

Wd Hoo Git Vlhen I arrive on jour 
august peaks, I eare not what tones you 
take, for I shall have within my veins the 
warmth of Plum Blossom's love. 

Lot Gong. [Goes toward door right.] I 
withdraw my august self in fearfulness of 
music. [Exits door right. Musie.] 

Git Hok Gar. [Crosses to Wu Hoo Git, 
center.] You have met the most fearful of 
the gods and vanquished him. 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Wc Hoo Git. Give me the earth to con- 
quer, that the earth may no longer deny me 
my heritage and my Plum Blossom's love. 
[End of apeeek in doorway. Exeunt 
right.] 
Wn Fah Din. [Appears.] This makes 
me decidedly uncomfortable. What trip- 
ping potency has he to overcome a god? 
Can it be tliat he is coupling brain with 
brawn? Myaeat of dignity rocks in feartul- 
ness. Let Kom Loi ensnare and slay him. 
[Property man brings a targe web 
made of gold string which is tied 
on a framework of wood with 
thread and sets it up, right, lean- 
ing sleepily against it.] 



Chorus. 'T is a golden spider-web. 

Woo Hu Git. [Entering left with Git 
HoK Gab, crossee to right, etops in front <^ 
web.] What is this tangled mesh that 
stretches from earth to Heaven and pre- 
tends to bar my way with petty entangle- 
ments? My celestial curiosity leads me to 
inquire. 

Kom Loi. I beckon your sublime pres- 

Wu Hoo Git. It invites me with a gentle 
voice. I am led to desire a closer view. 

Kom Loi. Let me encircle you with the 
beauties and love-knots of friendship. 

Wu Hoo Git. Its voice is as gentle as 
Plum Blossom's. It must be my friend. 
[Peeps.] I see but indistinctly through 
the fluttering weave of rainbow lights the 
faces of WuSin Yin and TaiFahMin direct- 
ing malice. I will observe more closely. 

[Wets finger and mokes slit in web.] 

Kom Loi. [Enraged voice.] Bewarel I 
asked you to enter my abode as a friend, 
Vou stick your finger in the eye of my hos- 
pitality. Beware! 

Wit Hoo Git [looMng up). An august 
Spider and his enchanting web ! 

[Frightened.] 

Git Hok Gar. The thing is dangerous 

and I am a man of peace. 1 will depart my 

footsteps to the other side of the mountain. 

[Picks up chair, crosses left, siis 

facing left.] 



Wtt Hoo Git. [To Spider.] I repent my 
fault. 

Kom Loi. Repentance may help your 
soul, but will not reweave the strands in 
which I catch human flies that would know 
my lair. You shall die. 

[Spider bursts forth and throws 
silken strands.] 

Wv Hoo Git [frightened]. It is an evil 
thing that has entangled me for vice of 
curiosity. 

Kom Loi. Beware! 

Wu Hoo Git. I am in the Spider's eyes 
— a web of light dances 'twixt his demon 
seeing-sockets and mine. It is an august 
new power that holds me fast. I must use 
my sublime brain, for the spider has not 
my sublime brain. I possess a celestial 
thought. 1 will cut with my sword the eye- 
chain that binds me to the monster. I cut 
with my impressive swotd. [Starts back.] I 
am free to meet him now — man to Spider! 
[Spider throws out silk ribbon roUs from 
web.] He spits witch daggers at me, to 
destroy my love and life. I augustly sever 
them. I observe I am celestially his un- 
equal match. [Spider throws rvme silk 
strands at him, furnished by properly man. 
He cuts them at first. Finally he becomes tied 
up in many strands andfalh.] I am woven 
in the web of evil. My sword hacks but 
cuts not. The web duUs its fiery edge, I am 
being tied to the earth rocks! 1 have a 
thought. I will call Plum Blossom. I will 
shake the slipper. [Shakes slipper.] Moy 
Fah Loyf Moy Fah Loy, save me I 

Mot Fah Lot. [Enters door to Heaven, 
center, above as a dise:mbodied spirit, Kou 
Loi attem.pts to throw more ribbons, but is 
stopped by Plum Blossom's voice.] The 
slipper shook. The earth stood still. The 
winds blew me here. I command the demon 
Spider to depart. 

Kom Loi. [Makes another attempt to 
throw ribborts — stops with arm in mid-air.] 
My web spins not. My joints crinkle in the 
light of purity. I seek the dark. 

[Exits door right, stepping through 
iBcb. Music. Property man re- 
moves frame, gathers up silk 
strands, takes them o^, dooT 
righU] 



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307 



Wd Hoo Git. \pTOiidly. Down left.] The 
Btrands about me melt in celestial light. 
The Spider withers before my exalted gaze. 
I feel in my expanding soul the power to 
o'eroome all monsters wild. I would that 
Plum Blossom might see my unaided tri- 
umph. She would adore my fiery bravery. 

MoY Fab Lot. Moy Fah Loy sees all 
and knows all. [Music.] 

Wv Hoo GiT. [Crosses to center, listen- 
ing.] Plum Blossom's rippling voice, yet I 
behold her not. 

Mot Fah Lot. I am the disembodied 
soul of her you loved so constantly, per- 
mitted for a moment only with heavenly 
vision to behold you. 

Wu Hoo Git. [Sees heT.] Wherefore do 
you approach me on the steps of Heaven? 
Why does a dazzling halo of light glori- 
ously encircle you like dew-drops on a star? 
What evil one has snatched you from the 
flower paths of earth, where you were sub- 
limely mine, to place you beyond my hu- 
man ecstasy? I shall know; and, if it be 
one of earth, my sword shall avenge our 
parting; if it be one who has passed beyond, 
my pursuing spirit shall follow him and 
knife him with the blasts of anguish. 

[Crosses up to right center.] 

Moy Fah Loy. You shook the slipper 
and I came in your hour of need. 

Wu Hoo Git. 1 shook it that you might 
behold my hour of august victory. Alone, 
1 vanquished the beast of the fields. [Prop- 
erty man and assistant bring table on which 
ore two stools to center, Wu Hoo Git lakes 
one stool, places it right, at table, the other 
slooC remaining on tabk.] I will build a 
mountain that shall kiss high Heaven, and 
on the top of it 1 wil! cone ten thousand 
thousand peaks till, topping the highest 
with my dainty foot, you palpitate within 
my august arms. 

Moy Fah Loy. We palpitate uot in 
Heaven. 

Wu Hoo Git. Despite the terror of your 
thought, I ascend. 

[Climbs on table impulsively.] 

Moy Fah Loy. Ascend not, for all men 
who strive to build a Heaven ladder and 
know the secrets of the gods have met with 
defeat and punishment. 



Wu Hoo Git. But my ladder is love- 
woven and each rung is a love strand upon 
which the humblest may tiptoe to Heaven. 

Moy Fah Loy. But it must be born of 
love you know not of. My prayers alone 
must guide you, not myself. 

Wu Hoo Git. [Climbs to top of chair on 
labk, back to audience. Music.] I would 
place the kiss of august victory upon your 
painted lips. 

Moy Fah Loy. I have no lips. 

Wu Hoo GiT. I would taie you in my 
glorious arms that your heart might im- 
press your hero's heart. 

Moi' Fah Loy. I have no heart. 

Wu Hoo Git. But stand you not on 
venerable legs? 

Moy Fah Loy. I stand on thinnest air. 
I have no legs. 

Wu Hoo Git. No legs in Heaven.' Then 
you are false to me and unworthy of my 
glorious victory. 

Moi' Fah Lot. I know not arms, nor 
legs, nor kisses. I left my body at home 
for my celestial father, Tai Char Shoong, 
to guard till your return. 

Wu Hoo Git. [Turns on stool facing 
a'ldience,] It was an august oversight. 
You should have brought your impressive 
body with you. I descend from Heaven. 

[Climbs dofvn right of toNe.] 

Moy Fah Loy. 1 go and leave you to 
your august way. 

Wu Hoo Git. Stay but a little. Give 
me some exchange of sweetness, my rose of 
Heaven. 

[Property man lakes stool off table 
and places it left. Music slops.] 

Moi- Fah Lot. The small space of time 
I have to encourage you is spent. I can 
tarry but a breath time, then breathe my- 
self away. 

Wu Hoo GiT. Then float guiding on, in 
your cloud-like boat to inspire my aching 
heart, and I will follow, till the world is 
mine and nothing left to conquer. 

Moy Fah Loy. I can but leave the 
promise of fragrance to come, for the petals 
of my love are not yet full blown to answer 
you. The zephyr-wagon blows homeward 
and I must ride with it or lose my way. 
Farewell! 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Wo Hoo GiT. Stay! Stay! Love is 
never lost for heroism is born of it. 

MoY Fah Loy. Love is in the heart 
when far, away. 

Wv Hoo Git. Love is in the heart, al- 
ways. When next you come forget not to 
bring your eitalted lips. 

Mot Fah Loy. I shall augustly remem- 
ber, for 1 observe man knows not woman 
without her lips. I depart for my body. 

[She exits upper door center. Music, 
Wv Hoo Git mounts stool right 
of table, holds oul his arms to- 
ward MoY Fah Loy, then tvras 
to Git Hok Gar who has crossed 
to upper left-hand comer of 
taMe.] 

Grr Hok Gab. I observe your eyes roll 
with unfailing tears, your iips are heavy 
with undelivered kisses of farewell. 

Wtj Hoo Git. There is no place to re- 
move them. [Comes down center,] Give me 
baefc my Moy Fah Loy, even in spirit. 

Git Hok Gar. [Left center.] Experience 
and years only can know spirit love. 

Wn Hoo Git. We must climbstill higher 
into the golden way. 1 would fear to meet 
more elements, if it were not that 1 had 
embraced disembodied Plum Blossom and 
know that nothing can harm me now, 

[Exeunt door right. Assistant prop- 
erty man removes table and stool 
to left.] 

Wu Fab Din. [Appears above drapery. 
Woickes them of.] I surmised not he had a 
slipper. It is a most dangerous potency to 
overcome. It upsets my plans frightfully. 
I must contrive a way to get it. What 
barks? [Terror.] I summoned nothing of 
thisnature. Can it beWuHooGithassent 
this monster after me while I was ot^itat- 
ing his destruction? [To Attendant tie- 
low.] Ask who it is? Speak to it boldly or 
I will toss you at it bodily. 

AiTENDANT. [HesOates.] Who are you? 

Tai Fah Min [uiith fox head on]. You 
may not know me in this guise, but I am a 
fox spirit, and being a fox, I have changed 
my form, so fear not. My brain is the brain 
of Tai Fah Min, the second father-in-law 
of Wu Sin Yin, and so your grandfather. 1 
come to help you to wreak mischief on 



Wu Hoo Git. I might have accomplished 
all of my iniquity but death came along 
and took me. The gods were kind, how- 
ever, and oa my path to the spirit world 1 
stumbled on a fox body, unused some days 
by the departedfox, and sublimely climbed 
into it. So I was released from an abode in 
the depths to prowl and help you in your 
mischief on Wu Hoo Git. I shall hinder 
him of success; if my tail be not cut off in 
the bloody encounter which must ensue I 
shall do him murder. He shall perish and 
then you rule unmolested. [He struts up 
stage.] I will take on a frightful shape. I 
can swim, I can run. He shall not escape 
me. I have a reason; I have a tail. 

[Exits right.] 
Wu Fah Din [exultantly]. 1 have cause 
to be proud of my ancestors. I banish 
trembhng fear and all kindness from my 
heart. The traditions of my family attend 
upon my wisdom. My grandfather is here 
to aid me. With such mighty strength, my 
bloody contention is no longer wit against 
wit, brawn against brawn; for I meet him 
with all the venom of my heritage. I have 

Wd Hoo Git. [inters w«i Git Hok Gar 
left.] But tell me. When you trod this path 
in youth did such things impede your way? 
Git Hok Gak. No, 1 had none to envy 
me, but you are bom to opposition because 
of the rights you seek. 
[Down left. 

Dapfodil uitk red papers up 
right.] 
Wu Fah Din. Now for the slipper and 
his death ! My message is from my grand- 
father, who you know is Tai Fah Min. You 
will see what a terrible shape he will as- 
sume. Prepare your flowery handkerchiefs 
for the flood of tears which you will shed at 
the death of Wu Hoo Git. 
[Horrible monster tiger enters down right, 
assisted hy properly man, who lights 
fuse in nostrQs and dusts head, which 
COTiceo/s Tai Fah MiN. Ita body is sup- 
ported by an assistant inside. 1 
WuHooGiT. What monster approaches 
me — with lightning orbs, thunder voice, 
and meandering gait of horror? Bring him 



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THE YELLOW JACKET 



309 



nearer that 1 may pierce his armor with niy 
flashing eyes ! 

Git Hok Gar. [Fearfully. Crosses center 
U> tiger,} It is the tiger-tather of all tigers! 
Its claws dig graves. [floor frimi tiger.] 

WdHooGit. What language speaks it? 
I understand it not. 

Git Hok Gab. It is the language of 
death. [Urges Wv Hoc Git baek.] I am 
old and must perish soon. You are young, 

Wd Hoo Git. Not I. [Crosses U> center.] 
I shall augustly sever it to crown my love 
with victory. [Ti^er roare.] 

GitHokGar. It thunders answer. Flee! 

WdHooGit. Not I, [Moms dovm front 
and around tiger, whick crosses to center. Dis- 
members body with sword. Assistant runs.] 
The head runs without legs. I like it not. 

Tai Fah MiN. [Wilkin tiger's head.] I 
have you now. Crumble before my bark; 
shriek at my snap; die at my bite. I am 
Tai Fah Miit. 

Wo Hoo GiT. Who conspired with my 
father, Wu Sin Yin, to depart my beloved 
mother, Chee Moo. 

Tai Fab Min. I assault you with my 
teeth. I would gloriously chew you and 
honorably digest you, for, while you live, 
you menace the glorious future of my 
daughter's child. 

[They fight. Cymbals, drums, etc ] 

Wd Hoo Git. I chop your throat. I cut 
it with fiery blade from ear to ear. 

Tai Fah Min. 1 mind it not. 

Git Hok Gab. It is invulnerable. It is 

Wu Hoo GiT. I augustly neglected the 
thought. I will sever its tail. 

[Cuts oS tail and stamps on it.] 

Tai Fah Min. [Falls.] I am undone 
without my brush. 'T is murder most un- 

Wu Hoo GiT [proudly]. Kind or unkind, 
I contemptuously tread upon it with my 
sublime foot. 

[Miisic. Property man places lad 
der center.] 
GitHokGar. [Crosses to abom fox, lying 
on floor center tn tiger skin.] Know, un- 
happy [ox spirit, this glorious boy, seeking 
vengeance for a mother, places you in a 



clean soul dress at Heaven's threshold in 
return for your unwonted crimes 'ion 
should die in tJiankfulness 

[Moivs left again ] 
Wu Hoo Git. Whati 1 would repent mj 



GiT Hok Gar. You cannot, vou must 
be noble now. The lantun of his Lfe is 
fiiekering. 

Tai Fah Min. [Comes nut of heai and 
dress.] I humbly repent e\ erything for a 
sight of Heaven. 1 praj erf ullj and peace 
fully die. 

[Property man places pillow under 
his head.] 
Wu Hoo Git. Be augustly leisurely 
about it then. I do not wish to be im- 
patient. 

Wtr Fah Din. He trades me and my im- 
portant office for Heaven. 

[Tai Fah Min dies, eraids ovl of 

tiger skin, and afterward he gets 

Tip and walks to ladder center. 

Property man stops him atui 

looks at Wv Hoo Git.J 

Wu Hoo Git [going -up to ladder]. Stay ! 

You cannot yet aspire to the celestial bliss 

where dwells my mother whose blood is on 

your hands. Depart below. 

Tai Fah Min. [Crosses to door nght. 
Snarls.] May Plum Blossom never sweeten 
your presence again. [Exits door right] 
Wu Hoo Git. [Moves to door vdth sword, 
then turns front.] Like aU dying men he 
would trade with Heaven. 

Git Hok Gab. Philosophy is ever vic- 
torious in warfare. 

Wu Hoo Git. Not philosophy, love. 
The body of the tiger which I severed now 
bars my august path. 

GiT Hok Gab, I would triumphantly 
mount over it. 

[Property man removes tiger and 

pillow, folding up pOlow.] 

Wv Hoo Git [observing]. It mounla 

for itself. It departs before me. [Grandly.] 

1 notice such things not. [Exeunt right.\ 

We Fae Din. If I triumph I will come 

out and view him. If I fail I wish not to 

view iny failure. I will part him from his 

friend. I will freeze him into nothingness. 

[Diaappectr»,] 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



, Iflises.] 'T is a snow-storm. 
[Music. Property man'e assistanti 
enter doors right and left with 
while flags rolled with cut paper, 
which they shake out. They cojne 
down stage, cross and exeunt op- 
posite doors front luhich tfiey 
enter. Property man ivalks to 
center with tray of cut paper 
mkich he throws into Ike air, over 
his shoiddera, then crosses to left 
again.] 
Wxj Hoo Git. [Entering l^t vnth Git Hok 
Gae, crosses to right center,] What is this 
blast which confronts us? What is this that 
freezes up the warmth of your kindness? 

GftHokGar. It is my welcome shroud for 

which I long have waited. You have grown 

so fat in wisdom you need me not. Bow 

me a farewell. I am approaching my robe 

of wood. Take my august covering to warm 

your worth. I need it not on my journey. 

[Having taken off coal offers it to 

Wu Hoo Git. ] 

Wu Hoo Git. Nay, you must. 

[Pushing away coat,] 
Git Hok Gak. I need it not. Put good- 
ness in yourself, to shut out cold. The 
mountain's peak of lite is now in view for 
you. From its bleak nose you can see the 
riches of the world and your path beyond. 
If the wisdom you have purchased on your 
journey abides with you, it will be as glo- 
riously fanciful as a summer's sea, 

Wti Hoo Git [putting coat ^ound shoul- 
ders of Git Hok Gab.] Is it decreed that 1 
must mount alone? 

Git Hok Gar. Every man must look 
intc the Garden of his soul alone. My 
journey is done. My life is spent. Yours is 
only begun. I die. 

[Falls lo stage. Property man puts 

pillow under his head, kneeling 

above him, spreads white cloth 

over him, then ptdls out his 

beard, spreading it on white 

sheet. Music.] 

Wv Hoo GiT. Die not so easily. Snow 

crowns your gray hair with the peace of 

death, I am blinded, too, in white crystals 

that sparkle upon me. 

[Covers his face with his hands. 



Git Hok Gab throws off white 
sheet. Rises, goes up center, 
turns — looks at Wu Hoo Git, 
sniUing and viith gesture of bless- 
ing. Climbs ladder to Heaven. 
Center opening above. Leaves 
his cool in snow where he died.] 
CHoBtJS. He ascends to Heaven ! 
Wd Hoo Git. [Places hands over coat of 
Git Hok Gab.] I put the warmth of my 
youthful hands upon you to give you life. 
You are dead and gone from me. 

Git Hok Gar [above]. I live above the 
coldness of the world. 

[Exits off right. Music stops,] 
Wit Hoo Git [holding white sheet aver Git 
Hok Gar's cloak on floor], I build an icy 
tablet to his memory. 1 sink, I freeze. 
[FaUs to stage.] I would shake the shpper, 
but it is a block of august ice. Moy Fah 
Loy 1 Plum Blossom I You, too, desert me 
in my hour of death. [Property man avsses 
urith tray of snow in one hand. Places piUow 
under his head. Puts tray of snow on ladder 
'er.] I augustly pronounce myself passed 
to my ancestors. 

[Property man covers him with 
white sheeL Dumps tray of cut 
paper on sheet and crosses to left 

Chee Moo. [Enters above as spirit from 
right.] I am Chee Moo, your honorable 
mother, who wrote your story in my blood. 
May the sweetness of my Heaven-prayer 
bring warmth into your world-body, 

NuNQ Fu. [Enters door left wiOi hoe,] 
Hero is a man snow-bound and chill. 1 dig 
him out with my farm hoe. 

Wu Hoo Git. Moy Fah Loy? My 
words are frozen. She hears me not, 

NuNG Fu. He must be august to have 
climbed so high. An icicle kiss melts upon 
his lips. He is thinking of some one. Then 
there still is life, 

Wu Hoo Git. Lead me to the mountain 
top one august step above that I may see 
the world of love and my inner self. 

Chee Moo [above, not seen]. It is yours, 
my child, my Wu Hoo Git! 

Wu Hoo Git, What voice was that? 

NuNQ Fu, I heard naught. 

Wu Hoo Git. I dream in icinese. Lead 



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THE YELLOW JACKET 



3" 



on, for it is not in grandeur that ne learn 
to know, but guided by the simplicity of 
nature's guardian ot the soil we see with 
child eyes ^ain all the loveliness of the 
world from the mountain peak of progress 
How bright and glorious the aun shines ' 
Its imperial golden liquid light dazzles m\ 
eyes. The sky becomes one huge bras? 
bowl save for that one little gray cloud out 
yonder. [Pointing above audience front.] 
. NuNG Fit [screening eyes with hands]. I 
see no cloud there, but here the sky has a 
gray cloud — my mother's soul cloud. 

Wu Hoo GiT. Then the one I see U my 
mother soul cloud. So with every golden 
shower of happiness tliere is a touch of 
gray — for one must pause in happiness to 
shed a tear for a mother heavenward passed. 
[Sitting up.] The jacket bums into my 
soul and conquers the freezing chill. Cour- 
age enwraps me. I shake off the numbing 
iciness that congealed my veins. Am 1 de- 
ceived again or are my eyes at last open to 
the circling vision of realities which were 
only dreams? [Rises. Goes to door right.] 
I'll toss my n^ed self against the palace 
gates. 

[Exeunt. Chee Moo exits above. 
Music.] 
Wu Fah Din, [Rises behind drapery.] 
You have heard his almost indelicate threat. 
I'll retire to the inner chamber of my pal- 
ace and gracefully lock myself in. I will 
swing tighter the gate bars, wall myself 
about and send a crippling force against 
him. [Descends from Uirone. Comes from 
behind drapery. Stands in doorway right.] 
I will await him where my walls are strong- 
est and from their top I will pelt his am- 
bitious head with tiles. 

[Music. Assistant property man 
removes ladder, placing it up left. 
Assistants move the drapery an, 
standards right and place it 
across stage at hack up center 

ant then gets table and stool from 
l^t. AnotA^ gets table and chair 
from Tight. They place the tables 
center near- drapery, one below 
the other mith the chair on the up- 
stage labk and stool on floor below 



the down-stage table. Assistant 
exits right. Another ossistoni 
exUs left. Property matt brings 
Ted cushion arid places it on chair 
on table center and also places the 
Yellow Jacket folded in green 
handkerchief on right-hand cor- 
ner of lower UAle. He goes to 
right of drapery and motions for 
Chorus to come out.] 
[Coming out frombehind drapery 
goes lo right center. Music] It is the throne- 
room of the palace of Wu Sin Yin, the 
Great, from which our hero has been de- 
prived so Jong. 

[Retires behind drapery center. 
Music forte.] 
Wu I'ah Din. [Enters left. Comes down 
center. Ascends throne. Property man assists 
him. Cymbals. Property man crosses to left, 
then places stool up l^t center and sits on it, 
back to audience. Music stops.] 1 am de- 
serted by all, but my self-importance still 
remains. 1 feel an august valor bom of my 
inability to get away, for I am not yet un- 
done. Deserted as I am, 1 cannot be van- 
quished. He may break down my door 
bolts. He may trample my flower-beds, 
but when he meets me face to face upon 
my tJirijne, he will tremble before the en- 
circling power that crowns me with the 
wealth of ages and my family's vanquish- 



[MusicforWvtiooC 

As Wtj Hoo Git enters, prop- 
erty man rises facing left and 
holds stool in his hands.] 
Wtj Hoo Git. [Enters door left with 
sword. Beats upon the stool held by property 
man four times with his sword. Cymbal 
crash for each stroke. Property man drops 
stool. Own Wu Hoo Git eTtters imaginary 
gate.] Where ia the throne I seek by right? 
Wlio sita upon it? 

Wu Fah Din [looking down at him con- 
temptuously]. If courage stands high in 
you, I, too, have some in my veins, for the 
blood of the same father enriches us both. 
Wc Hoo Git [brandisftinff award]. 
Usurper! Think you to stop my way, when 
I have met the battUng heavens? When I 
have conquered the peaks and held their 



ecbiGoogle 



CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



snow-crowns until they melted before the 
warmth of myhacd? [Phces one foot on stool 
center.] Descend before I cut you to earth, 
and toas your carcass from the beetUng bat- 
tlements, [Steps back from tkTone.] Descend, 
bow deeply and trade your place for mine. 
Wu Fab Din. [Sealed on throne chair.] 
IS you will trade in gentleness, I will sur- 
render gently. A throne is moat uncom- 
fortable. [Rises. Descends throne to center.] 
Wu Hoo Git. The sun-hued garment! 
I demand it ! 

Wu Fah Din, [Goes to right of table. 
Pvshes Yellvw Jacket in handkerchief across 
t^k toward Wv Hoo GiT.] I extend to you 
the badge of office. I have always disliked 
the color, it is so cold. 

[Wi7 FasUih crosses to righlcenler, 
Wu Hoo GiT tdces off his own 
jacket and hartds it to property 
man, who puts it in box l^t. 
Wd Hoo Git then takes Yellow 
Jacket out of handkerchief. Prop- 



Is him to put it 



Wu Hoo Git. Bump your head to me. 
[Daffodil kneels right center.] 

Wu Fah Din. My head! I am glad I 
have a head to bump. [Bumps head twice. 
Wood block.] May I still retain it? 

Wu Hoo Git. My first act in assuming 
my power shall be one of mercy. Choose 
your prison. 

Wu Fah Din [footinif wp]. A garden! A 
garden filled witJi smiling flowers. [Wu 
Hoc Git motes a gesture of assent. Daffo- 
dil nses.j Then I retire to its fragrance. 
[Backs up stage. Exits right.] 

Wu Hoo Git, [Crosses to center, back to 
audience.] Victorious at last! I ascend the 
throae of my ancestors. [Mwsic. He mounts 
throne. Tiirns front standing.} I shake the 
sfipper for my Plum Blossom. [Shakes dip- 
per. Cymbals crash. General enirance.] My 
Plum Blossom ! 

[Music changes. Play piano.] 

MoY Fah Loy [crossing to Mm center on 
one foot]. I guided them to you. 

Wti Hoo Git. Have you brought your 
impressive body with you? 

Mor Fah Lot. Yes. 

Wu Hoo GiT. Ascend my throne. [She 



ascends. Sits on chair.] Your slipper shall 
be my scepter. 

[PvtB it on her foot, standing Tight 
of tabk center.] 
Mo Y Fah Loy. My love! 
WuHooGiT. My Plum Blossom! 

[AU kneel and bow low.] 

Chbe Moo. [In upper opening center.l 

The world and wisdom are his. [M-asie.] 



[Chorus c 



e tableau 



Chorus. And now, most august and 
honorable neighbors, you may bestow your 
kindly recognition upon my brothers as I 
nominate them each in turn and they will 
personally augustly thank you. 

[Tableau curtains are drawn. Com- 
pany lined up across stage. 
Chorus now points out each 
■member of the company in iicm, 
beginning with Chee Moo, then 
Wu Hoo Git, Plum Blossom, 
etc., indicating chjiraeter first one 
side of the stage then the other, 
property man last.) 
Chorus. Chee Moo, the mother! My 
hero! [/ndicafijig Wu Hoo Git.] My little 
heroine! [/n<iico(in(f Plum Blossom.] The 
philosopher! [Indicating Git Hok Gar.| 
The nurse! [Indicalirtg See Noi.] The 
temptress of the flower boat! [Indicating 
Chow Wan.J The purveyor of hearts! 
[Indicating Yin Subt Gong.] The daffodil I 
[Indicating Wu Fah Din.I The farmer and 
his wife ! [IndicaHng Lee Sin arul Subt Sin 
Fah.1 The widow! [Indicating her.] Tai 
CharShoong! [Indicating him.] Thesecond 
wife! [Indicating Due Juno Fah.] A 
siren! [Indicating See Qttoe Fah,] And 
yet another siren! [IndicaHng Yosa Soo 
Kow.J And now quite visible to your eyes, 
our property man. 

[Property man who has been seated 
on box left, smoking, rises, crosses 
to Chokus center, shakes hands 
in the Chinese manner, bows to 
audience, crosses to right] 



cb,Goog[e 



A LOVING WIFE 

(AMOUREUSE) 

A PLAY IN THREE ACTS 

Bv GEORGES DE PORTO-RICHE 

nanslaied by J. P. W. CRA WFORD 



cb, Google 



cb, Google 



TO 
POREL AND TO RfiJANE 



cb, Google 



PERSONS OF THE PLAY 

£tiense FERiArD 
Pascal Delaknoy 
Germaine Feriaud 

Ca THE HIKE ViLLIEHS 

Madame de Chazal 
Madame Hekkiet 
Madeleine 



cb, Google 



A LOVING WIFE 



The home o/fiwENNE F^riaud. A study 
in disorder. Books and papers scatlered 
aboui, etc. A lighted lamp on a desk. 
[Enler Pascal, wearing kis hat.] 

Pascai,. Has Monsieur returned home? 

Madeleine [arranging on a smaU table 
a tray uriift a bottle and several glasses]. Not 

Pascal, And Madame? 

Madbleinb. Madame ia over there, 

Pascal, Alone? 

Madeleine. With Madame de Vitry. 

Pascal [in a vexed tone]. Always callera. 

Madblbine. But, sir, this is Thursday. 
Madame receives to-day. 

Pascai, [taking offkia hat]. I shall not go 
in. Fix the fire for me, Madeleine. 

Madeleine. I have just put on a log. 

Pascal. Put on another, 

MMmvEm^ [poking the fire]. Monsieuris 
hard to please, for an artist. 

Pascal. The poor have more need of 
comfort than others, my child. And now, 
open that window. The room smells of 
tobacco. 

Madeleine. Yes, sir. 

IPabcal picks up a newspaper and 
installs himself in art arm-chair 
by the fireside.] 

Pascal [reading]. "Madame C . , . " 
{Interrupting his reading.] Another husband 
who haa just found his wife untrue . . . 
Madame C . . , 1 '11 wager it is Madame 
Crozat . . , Poor little woman ! 

Madeleine. Do j-ou wish any thing else, 
sir? 

Pascal. Yes. What is in that bottle? 

Madeleine. Malaga wine, 

Pascal, My Malaga? 

MADEtEiNK. Yes, sir. 

Pascal. That's what 1 need. [PoTtring 
out a drink.] The only wine that one can 
drink here. 



Madeleine. Oh! sir. 

Pascal [pointJ>lank]. How is your lover 
Madeleine? 

Madeleine. But I have no lover! 

Pascal. A pretty girl like you? 

Madeleine. No, sir. 

Pascal. How old are you? 

Madeleine. I am twenty-two. 

Pascal. Six years wasted ! 

Madeleine. It I had a lover, I should 
be less cheerful. 

Pascal. But all the same you would he 

Madeleine. 1 know a painter who often 
tells me nonsense like that. 

Pascal [quickly]. A painter? 

Madeleine. A painter who works at 
the glazier's, across the street. 

Pascal. You flatter me, [Pause.] Is 
M. Firiaud leaving this evening? 

The doctor will leave very 



Pascal. The house wilt not be very 
amusing. I shall have a stupid time of 

[Enler Geemaine.] 

Gbbmaike [at the door, affectionately]. 
Are you there, dear? 

Pascal [without moving from kis tUTii- 
chair]. No, Madame, he is not here. 

Germaike. Oh! It's you, Pascai! 

Pascal. 1 am waiting for Etienne, 

Germaine. Why did you not come into 
the drawing-room? 

Pascal. You had tiresome guests. 

Germaine. You would have helped me 

Pascal. Disturb myself? Not much! 

Germaine. I must go. Come along, self- 
ish fellow, come with me. 

Pascal, That is not to be dreamed of, 
my little Germaine. Just see how well fixed 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



GERMAii4ii [about lo leave]. Spoiled 
kitten I 

PAScAi. Ah ! Do not leave me. Now I 
shall be all alone. 

Gebmaine. I am afraid callers will come. 

Pascal. Stay. 

Gekmaine. No. 

Pascai.. I shall not allow you to be told 
when your husband returns, 

Gebmaine. That makes no difference to 
me. I am watching tor him. 

Pascal, At what time does he leave' 

Gehmaine [taking a chair and sittmg 
doron beside him]. At eight o'clock, mj 
good Pascal. 

Pascal. So you sit down after all 

Gebmaine. You think that I am Romg 
to stay, do you? He leaves this e\enmg for 
Italy. He ia going to preside over the 
French delegation to the Medical Congress. 

Pascal. A queer idea, for him to leave 
UH in this fashion! 

Gbbmainb. This is the first time we shall 
have been separated in our eight years of 
married life, 

Pascal. I have not missed seeing him a 
single day in the last fifteen years. 

Gbrmainb. It appears that this trip is 
necessary for his work, 

Pascal. What difference does his work 
make to us? 

Germaine. Poor fellow, I persecute him 
and torment him. He will not be 'iorn to 
have a little freedom. 

Pascal. Between ourselves mj dear 
you are becoming unbearable. 

Gbrmainb. I realize that, but what can 
you expect? The clocks of a house never 
keep the same time; when one is fist the 
other is slow. 

Pascal. And they never strike together 

Gbbmainb. What self-restraint one 
needs cot to love one's husband' If 1 did 
not adore mine, things would be better 

Pascal. The fact is that everything is 
topsy turvy in your house, "i ou quarrel 
the meals are bad ... If it condnues I 
shall stay away. 

Gbrmainb. You will look for a quieter 

Pascal. 1 am joking, I am too old to 

change my habits. 



Gbbmainb. Follow your friend's ex- 
ample, and travel. 

Pascal. Worries keep me at Paris. 

Germaine, Is your lady-in-w^aiting still 
the cause of them? 

Pascal. Yes. 

Gebmaine. And you do not work? 

Pascal, No indeed 

Gbrmainb. What a pitv' Yesterday I 
saw the director of the Illustrated Review 
Do you know that he is dissatisfied' 

Pascal. A furious director is al«a3^ 
dl^ erting. 

Gebmaine. He ha& been waiting for 
>our drawings for a month 

Pascal. He made a mistake in paiing 
me for them in advance 

Gebmaine. Is Mauricette an expensive 
mistress ? 

Pascal. Not yet. She is so young. 

Germaine. Seriously, Pascal. For the 
sake of your dignity, you should break off 
relations with that woman. 

Pascal. 1 do nothing else. 

Gbbmaike. You do not love her, she 
deceives you, and you suffer as if you did 
love her, 

Pascal. She tortures me. She does not 

Gebmaine. Dupe I 

Pascal. Love is blind. 

Gbbmainb. Yet it is making you see 
things I 

Pascal. I confess it. 

Gebmaine. If you were reasonable, you 
would listen to me . . ■ 

Pascal. And I would marry Madame 
Bnssot, 

Germaine, Why not? 

Pascal. A divorcee? A book already 

Gebmaine. But not on the shelf. 

Pascal. Have you set your heart on 
that? 

Gbrmainb Just think mj friend an 
income of fifty thousand fr^ncsl 

Pascal, Are \ou not ashamed to talk 
hke that, 3 ou »hn hive madt a love 
marriage. 

Gbrmainb One might love Midcune 
Brissot. 

Pascal, Too thin 



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A LOVING WIFE 



319 



Gbhmaine. But thin women are some- 
times dangerous. 

Pascal, Like fish-bones! 1 refuse. In 
the first place, she disgusts me with her 
piety, your Madame Brissot. Oh! These 
pious women, I . . . 

Gbemaine. You send them to the devil. 

Pascal. If God paid any attention to 
them, well and good, I would understand, 
but . . . 

GEKMAifTE. Come now, don't begin to 
speak iil of God. That's out of date. 

Pascal. Agreed. Let us speak well of 
him. It is more charitable, since he is not 

Gebuaine. He is the only one who is 
not gossiped about behind his back. 

Pascal. Because he has never been seen. 

Gbbmaine. Be quiet. You talk like an 
alderman. 

[Enla- Etibnne.] 

Pascal. At last ! 

GEniMAiNE. There he is! 

foiE\NE. Ah! How tired lam! 

Pascal. Of course. He is always tired 
when he comes home, and never tired when 
he leaves. 

Gebmaine [to Btiennb]. Now will you 
be good ! 

Pascal. Explain yourself. Why have 
you been away so long? 

Gebmaine. Yea, where have you been? 

Etienne. I have just left the Academy. 

Pascau That is not true. 

Germaine. There was no session to-day. 

£tibnne [pouring out a drink). I was 
presiding over a commission. 

Germaine. I believe you, at least. 

Pascal. Ahl Don't drink my wine. 

Etienne. I am late because I walked 

GER^fAlNI:. A lover would have taken a 

Etiennb. 1 wanted to take the tram. 

Pascal. That represents a friend's 
eagerness. 

fiTiBNNE. But I had to wait too long 
and I lost my patience. 

Pascal. Your health will benefit by a 
good walk, I foi^ve you. 

Etienne [taking from his pocket a tram- 



car ticktl[. This ticket, number 53, which I 
forgot to give to the conductor, is evidence 
of my truthfulness. 

[He puts it back in his poekeL] 

Pascal. Is it decided, then, that you are 
going to represent France at a congress? 

Etiennb. 1 am leaving shorfJy for 
Florence. 

Pascal. And you dare to see Italy again 
without me? 

Etibunb. Come along. 1 am traveling 
with Mareotte and his mistress, 

Pascal. You mean little Janin? 

Germaine [ill-kumoredly]. The friend of 
Mademoiselle Villiers, a household with 
which you used to be intimate? 

firiENNE. Precisely. 

Pascal. You tempt me. I have a mind 
to go with you, but then, Germaine would 
be left entirely alone. 

Germaine. How about taking me? 

Etibnni:. Don't be silly. 

Pascal. We shall not be obliged to travel 
in the JVIarcottes' compartment. 

Etienne [pointing to Gebmaine], If I 
take her with me, I shall not have time to 

Pascal. But I can see her. 

Etienne. I am coming back in a week. 

Gebmaine [to Pabcai,], Don't insist. 

Pascal. Then I shall stay too. 

Etienne. It is not nice to abandon you 
both, but you will agree that I have not the 
right to refuse this mission . . . [bec< 
animated] a mission which will give n 
chance to defend my ideas. Thanks to this 
Congress, the prophylaxis of contagious 
diseases , , , 

Pascal. You are not going to deliver us 
a lecture, are you? 

Germainb. You may expound your the- 
ories to Mademoiselle Janin, en route. 
■ Etienne. Perhaps she will be more in- 
terested in them than you. 

Pascal. Of course she wilL You are not 
her husband. 

Etienne. Very well. Let us talk no 
more of my affairs, 

Gebmaine. Come now. Don't look so 
angry. 

Pascal, Youknow very well that we are 
not completely indifferent to your in 



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320 



CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Germaine. Stop joking. His work has 
been useful. 

Etienne. Perhaps. 

Pascal. Nonsense. Discoveries in med- 
icine are like those in artillery. They teach 
how to kill men more quickly, that's all. 

Germaine. The fewer there are . . , 

Pascal [pointing to £tienne|. Provided 
that one remain. 

Etibnne \mth annoyance], Ahl That 
lamp is smoking. [He turna up ihs mck.] 

Germaine. Are you dining with us, 
Pascal? 

Pascal. That depends whether it is a 
good dinner. 

Etibsnb. It is I who ordered it 

Pascal. That gives me hope 

Etienne. I plan the meaJs now \ou 
will have duckling and Rusaiin sal id 

Pascal. Is that all' 

Etienne. Yes. 

Pascal. Add some crawfi-^hes for >our 

Etienne. She does n t need a -itimiilant 
Gekmaine [to Pascal] You are insult 

ing! [To EnBNKE.] Did \ou ^top at 

Doueet's? 

Etienne. Your dress lull be re d* to 

Germaine. Thank \ou for not for 
getting. 

Etienne. Oh' By the way . . . 

Germaine. What are you looking for in 
your pocket? A present? 

Etienne. You have guessed right. 

[He hands a mnall jewel-box to 
Germaine.] 

Germaine. A ring! 

Pascal. Let us see! 

Germaine. Oh ! What a beauty ! 

Pascal [gnwiHing]. I can't agree with 
yvu. The diamond is too small. 

Etienne [to Germaine). Do you like it? 

Pascal. No one ever brings me anything. 

Germaine. I must give you a kiss. 

Etienne. All right. Be quick about it. 

Germaine [tenderly]. Can one kiss 
quickly? 

Pascal. I shall turn my back. 

Germaine. That makes no difference. 

Pascal [to Etienne]. You will lose 
nothing by waiting. 



Germaine. So then, you love me a little 
bit? 

Etibnne. You know verv well that I 
do. 

Pascal. Ah, my children! Have mercy 
on me. I am all alone. 

Etienne. How d^collet^e you are ! 

Germaine. Is that a criticism? 

ilTiENNE [Jaseinated]. Yes and no. In 
spite of myself, I am captivated, and 
unexpectedly disconcerted. I have such 
weighty problems on my mind just now 
that I should have preferred ... to think 
of nothing else. 



|M, 



; enters with letters o 



a tray,] 



&EHMAINE [handing to Etienne a Utter 
vhich ''he has smt ptch-d ip] Oh! I was 
not eomg to open it 

Etienne Y ou were smelling it. 

&ERM\iNE That ■! different. 

Pascal It s exactly the same. Scented 
letter paper means i pet name. 

[Muieleine goes out.] 

£tiei,ne [italed at hu desk looking over 
h 1 1 matt] Requests for consultations, but I 
ilo not receive pitients the Edinburgh 
Remeu an article b3 Mackensie on 

diphtheria and Gaucher's method . . . Hal 
My name occurs several times . . . You 
don't know English, do you, Pascal? 

Pascal. I don't even know Russian. 

Etienne. Nest, a bill from Reboux for 
two hundred and ten francs. 

Germaine. My black hat. 

Etienne [handing the Mil to Germaine]. 
Here you are. 

Germaine [r^vsing it]. You may pay it 
yourself. 

Etienne. Very well. I shall attend to it. 

Pascal. Really, my little Germaine, he 
is too good-natured. Things of that kind 
fall within your province. How do you 
spend your time all day? 

Etienne. My wife looks after her hus- 
band, and I look after the rest. 

Germaine. Oh! How nice you are! I 
adore you when you are angry. 

Etienne, I am growing tired of the job. 



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A LOVING WIFE 



3'i 



Pascal, Come now. Don't go on 
grumbling. 

Germaine. You have a. better disposi- 
tion than you think, you know. 

Pascal. We saw you at work when she 
had typhoid fever. 

Gbbmainb. My poor friend, do you re- 
member? He spent twenty nights at my 
bedside. 

Etibnne. Be quiet, I can't read while 
you are talking. 

Gbbmainb. But I want to talk. 

Etienne. Where does Parigot live? 

Pascal. Rue de ia Sorbonne. 

Gebmaine. No, he has moved. 

Etienne. Confound it! I must answer 
at once. 

Pascal. Look up his address in the 
directory. 

Etibnne [annoyed]. Where ia it? 

Germainb. Over there. 

Pascal, No, it is not. 

Etienne. There is your veil. Pins on my 
desk as usual. 

Germaine. If you were a bachelor, you 
would not complain. 

Etibnne. I can't find it. One can find 
nothing in this house. 

Pascal. Except dust. 

Etiennb. I shall write to him later. 
What a chaos ! I should have a secretary to 
put this house in order. I should have had 
a sister or an aunt from the country, irritat- 
ing perhaps, to go about the apartment and 
keep my things in place. I have n't even a 
mother-in-law ! 



[M 



n mlh a package.] 



Pascal [to MadbleineJ. What now? 
Madeleine. Books for Madame. 
Germaine [opening the bundle]. A 
Woman's Heart. 

Etienne. Out Heart. 
PascaI" Their Heart. 
Gehmaine. Three Hearts. 

[Madeleine goes oiii.\ 
EnENNE. Bourget, Maupassant . . . 
Gebmaine. Lavedan, Rod. 
Pascal. Love stories. 
Etibsne. With adultery as chief topic. 
Germaine. Women's sorrows. 
Etibnne, That's what she reads. 



Gbrma!-n"e. I read what I understand 

Et!e\ne. Why don't you find a lover 
some day, since you are so inquisitive? 

Pascal. Be patient. 

Gbbmainb, One can never tell. Your 
bachelor days arc over, mine are beginning. 

Etib.vnb. Your bachelor days? 

Pascal, Of course. You are her first 

Etienne. And the last. 

Gebsiaine. I hope so with all my heart. 

Etienne. Are you not certain of it? 

Pascal. Be careful, my dear fellow. 
You are actually savage at times. An in- 
discretion is the affair of a moment. 

Etienne, A virtuous womaa never loses 
her head, 

Germaine. Let us hope that is true. 

Pascal. Bahl Dishonor ia like black 
clothes for a funeral. They can make it up 
tor you in a day. 

Etibnne. My love, if you ever deceive 
me, be careful of your choice, for all men 
are scoundrels. 

Pascal. With the exception of myself. 

Etienne. Yes, you are a good fellow, 

Gerhiaike. There is no hope for you, 

Pascal. Why is there no hope for me? 
I protest. Perhaps you were foolish in re- 
fusing to marry me, nine years ago. 

Germainb, You should not have sent 
Etienne to propose for you. 

Etienne [to Pascal), I was loyal to you 
in prcs<!nting your case, 

Germaine. He was very insistent. 

Pascal. A little more and my happiness 
would liave been assured. 

Germaine, A little more, I should have 
been your wife and [turning to Etienne] 

Pascal, Perhaps things will be reversed. 

Gebmaine. Never, my good Pascal. 

Etienne [jokingly, to Pascal], Who can 
tell? In spite of your stories, at heart you 
only love my wife. 

Pascal, Worse luck! 

Etibnne, And if I make her too un- 
happy, you will console her, 

Pascal. Do you think so? That's fine! 

Etibnne. We shall separate some day, 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



my darling. Ihaveaprescntimentthatyou 
will leave me. 

Germaine. Leave you? Never! Don't 
count on that, my dear. Don't cherish that 
absurd hope, it ia not worth while, Wliat- 
ever I may do, whatever you do, I shall 
stay here, in your house, beside you, always, 
whatever happens, clinging to you like . . . 

Pascal. Like a leech. 

Etienne. What a sharp tongue you 

G&RMAINB. We shall live together for- 

Pascal. And we shall bury you with her. 

firiENNE. I draw the line on that! I 
want to be alone in my grave. 

Germaine. But I would not annoy you 
very much. 

EiiENfjE. I won't hear of it. 

Pascal. Well then, you go first. She 
will join you later. 

finENNE. It will not be long, my dear 
friends. I am growing old . . . fortunately. 

Pascal. Fortunately? 

Etiennb Ibifleriy], Yes, I await old age 
with impatience, when my heart will be in- 
sensible. How eager I am to grow old ! 

Gehmaine. What a joy it will be to have 
white hair I 

Pascal, Or to have none at all I 

Etienne. I can imagine myself beside 
Ihe fire-place, sensible, rational, disre- 
garded, with my books, my wife and my 
son, for it must be expected that some day 

Pascal. A child? You can ask a friend 
for that. 

Etienni;. Ah! How happy 1 should be 
to feel my brain clear ! What freedom from 
worry! Loving couples may pass before 
my windows, but I shall not look after 
them enviously. No, I shall rub my hands 
with delight when I think of their torments, 
their heart burnings, their wasted time and 
all those hours stolen from duty, work and 
thinking. That will be real happiness. 1 
shall be sixty years old then. 

Germaine- Yes, but now you are only 
forty-three. 

Pascal. And your health is excellent. 

Germaine. Twenty years more for love, 
my poor dear. Be brave. 



firiENNE. Forgive me. I am aayiirg 
things that I do not mean. 

Pascal [aside, to Etibnnb). You are 
hurting her feelings, my dear fellow. 

Etienne. If only she would remain 
angry a week I 

Pascal. You would not like that. 
[Enter Madeleine.] 

Madeleine. Madame de Chazal and 
Madame Henriet are in the drawtng-room. 

Germaine. Very well. 

[Madeleine leaves.] 

Pascal. Two society women. 

Germaine. Two geese, who do not come 
to see me, but my husband. 

Pascal. That ia the practice here. 

Germaine [to SItienneJ. Your hair is 
not yet white. 

Pascal. Would they like to steal him 
from you? 

Germaine. Perhaps they have done so 
already. 

Etienne. Come now, Germaine. 

Germaine. Ah I I have no illusions re- 
garding my friends, Iknowwhattheywant. 

Pascal. And he reproaches you for not 
receiving women. 

Germaine [oftout to leave]. Oh! I de- 
prive him of opportunities. 

fiitENNE [annoyed]. You are unjust. 

Germaine. I robbed him of one oppor- 
tunity a little while ago. On a pretext of 
asking him some important advice, a 
woman insisted on entering his office. I 
opened the door for her, but, behold, 
Adonis had gone out. 

Etienne. Who was it? 

Germaine. That little Chailly woman, 

Pascal, The widow, whose husband 
died the evening of their marriage? 

Germaine. Lucky husband! 

Etienne. By the way, I forgot to tell 
you. Don't expect your hairdresser to- 
morrow morning. 

Germaine. Why not? 

Etibnne. He will not be here. Ho 
hanged himself. 

Germaine. Hanged himself ! 

Pascal. In his shop-window? 

Etibnne. His wife was unfaithful to 



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Gkkmaine. Poor devil! . . , You would 
not hacg yourself, would you? 

Etibjjnb. Who knows? 

Germaine Ireproachfully]. Oh! The rope 
would break. 

Etienne. Good Lord ! Wliat a woman ! 

Gbruaim:. I shall send them o£F and 
come back to you. 

Pascal. We are not uneasy. 

[Gebmaine goes out.] 

Etibnne. Will you allow me to write 
fur a moment? 

Pascal. You are mighty crabbed this 
evening. 

Etiennb [irriling]. 1 am out of sorts. 

Pascal. That is evident. What is wrong? 

Etibnne. Nothing new. 

Pascal [akelching]. See, your nose is 
longer than usual. You are like a child. 
When you are naughty, you are homely. 

Etienne. Are you drawing a caricature 
of me? 

Pascal, It will not cost you a cent, and 
yet my rent is due to-morrow. 

Ettbnni:. It you need any money . . . 

Pascal. I never borrow, I am too un- 
grateful. I could never forgive a friend 
who had done mo a favor. 

Etienne. Then apply to an enemy. 

Pascal. It is less expensive. 

Etienne. Come now, we are alone. 
Don't play the cynic. \A pause.] By the 
way, have you seen that one of your water- 
color drawings was sold for two thousand 
francs? 

Pascal. Really? 

Etibnne. Yesterday, at the Montigny 
sale. I read about it in this morning's 

Pascal. A water-color of mine for two 
thousand franca? My Lord! How stupid 
peyjle are ! 

Etienne. Not so stupid as you think. 

Pascal. The dealers have never offered 
me such a price as that. 

Etienne. Work, and that day will soon 

Pascal. When it comes, I shall have at 
least a right to be lazy. 

Etiennb. You will lead the gay lite. 

Pascai- I shall make about thirty draw- 
ings a year, no more. 



Etibnne. And then? 
Pascal. When rtiy living expenses ate 
once assured, I shall look after my diver- 

Etibnne. To think that if you had no 
talent, you would probably be a hard 
worker ! 

Pascal. Then, I congratulate myself 
on possessing a little. 

Etienne. You have a great deal, my 
dear fellow. 

Pascal. You are mistaken, I know my- 
self. Do you know what my artist's con- 
science suggests to me? To fold my arms, 
nothing more. That is the real way to 
avoid painting bad pictures, for I am as 
second-rate as the next man, as a lot of 
peiple, second-rate like yourself. 

Etienne. Thanks. 

Pascal. In these days, everybody has 
talent. It is becoming unbearable. 

Etienne. So then, you have no am- 
bition? 

Pascal. Not the slightest, and I think 
with terror of the provincial art gallery 
where I shall probably be buried some day 
or other, for that is the glory that awaits 

Etienne. Then it is clear that you do 
not love your axt. 

Pascal. I value love and friendship 
more highly. 

Etienne, Friends abandon us and 
women deceive us. 

Pascal. Just wait a while. 

Etienne. For my part, 1 am only com- 
pletely happy at this desk. 

Pascal. You say so to-day because you 
are surfeited. 

Etienne. Rather because 1 have taken 
a few steps forward. 

Pascal. Do you think that you are 
gaining ground? 

Etienne. Ibegan with love, I am ending 
by devoting myself to science. 

Pascal. That is disagreeable for your 

Etienne. Perhaps we met one another 
too late. 

Pascal. You believe that the happiness 
of humanity comes first, and your wife's 
happiness second, do you not? 



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firiEivNE. If laniof anyuaein theworld, 
it is her duty to yield, 

Pascal. Selfish fellow ! 

Ktienne. Do you reahze that my re- 
searches on diphtheria might save thou- 
sands of lives? 

Pascal. Don't lose your head. Their 
value is yet to be proved. 

Etienne. It will be proved. 

Pascal. And what it it is? A lot of 
good it will do I When you cure one disease, 
God sends us another. It seems that we 
must always have in this world the same 
number of plagues. We might as well keep 
tiose that we know about. And after all, 
what is the use? Until the end of time 
there will be poor and rich, rascals with 
luck and honest people without luck. You 
can shut yourself in your house and work, 
you may have genius, but yoii will never 
change the order of things. Nothing is 
worth while. 

Etienne. You are preaching the doc- 
trine of cowardice, the uselessness of effort. 
If our fathers had reasoned like you, the 
earth would still be uninhabitable and men 
would go about naked. 

Pascal. Women too. 

Etibnne. We should be walking on all 
fours, my good friend. 

Pascal. I might find that very amusing. 

Etibnke. You paint trees, but your 
forefathers climbed tlem. 

Pascal. I should be very much em- 
barrassed to follow their example. 

!6tiennb. You make fun of savants, 
artists and poets, but they are the ones who 
have improved this imperfect world. It is 
they who have made it more bearable, less 
disagreeable to those who are pleasure-mad 
and to the destitute. I grant that they have 
been bad husbands, lukewarm friends and 
disobedient sons. What difference does 
that make? Their labors and their dreams 
have sown the seed of happiness, of justice 
and of beauty in the world. These egoists 
did not love, but they created love for suc- 
ceeding ages. 

Pascal. Well, let the good work go on, 
my friends. Suppress suiTering and hatred. 
After all, I ask nothing better. 

firiKNNK. We shall succeed in that. 



Pascal. In six weeks? 

Etienne. In a few centuries. We have 
already extended the hmita of Ufe. 

Pascal. How cruel! Who can teil? 
With a little luck, you may finally suppress 
death iteelf. 

firiBNNE. Conquer death? Oh! my dear 
fellow, we have already made such progress. 

Pascal. I should like to live in those 

firiENKE. Because you are not married. 

Pascal. After all, what would be the 
use? You could not prolong youth. 

Stiennb. Bah! You can think of noth- 
ing but love. 

[EnteT Germaine, M e e Ch 
Madame Henk ] 

Madame Hekriet [ £ enne] & a 
shake hands with you 

Madame be Chaza [ £ en'ne] May 
I wish you a pleasant u 

EnENNE. Ofcourae 

Madame de Cbazal [to Pascal], Oh! 
Monsieur Delannoy? 

Pascal [bomng]. In person. 

Gbbmainb [to Etibnne, drawing near to 
his desk]. Were you writing? 

Stjenne. You may see for yourself. 

Gehmaine. I annoy you. 

Etiennb, No, 

Madame de Chazal [to Pascal]. They 
say that you are going to marry Madame 
Brissot, Is it true? 

Pascal. That would surprise me. In 
the first place, I am a personal enemy of 
marriage. 

Germaine. Please don't talk like that I 

Pascal. Marriage is an antiquated in- 
stitution which had a beginning and will 
have an end. 

Etiennb isaily]. Never make such a 
contract . . .' 

Pascal. So immoral a contract, for one 
should only assume those that one can ful- 
fil, and no one is ever sure of keeping the 
marriage contract. 

Madame Henriet [to Pascal]. In the 
meanwhile, your engagement was an- 
nounced this evening at the F^vriers. 

Germaine [aenUmenially]. Ah ! The 
betrothal , . . 



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A LOVING WIFE 



Etienne. The happiest thing about 


Madame de Chazal. He is followed on 


marriage. 


the street. 


Germaine. I believe the happiest 


Pascal. Like a woman. 


time . . . 


GBJiMAiNB. Like a grisette. 


Pascal. Comeg afterwards. 


firiBNNE. Alas! Sometimes I think that 


Gehmaine. I had not the courage to say 


I must be one. 


so. 


Gekmajne. I'ortunateiy you are not 


Madamb Henriet [to firiENNEJ. That 


mercenary. 


is greatly to your credit. 


Etibnne \gaily]. Ah, my friends! I 


Madame de Chazal. And you are past 


might have earned millions. 


forty. 


Germaine [to Madame Henbiet, offer- 


Pascal. He belongs to the reserve, but 


ing lun- candy]. Will you have some candy? 


he ia kept under the colors. 


[Germainb, Madame Henbiet 




and Pascal go up stage.] 


all. All women love me. 


Madame de Chazal [to Etiennb]. You 


Madame de Chazal. When one is liked 


seem to be sorry that women like you. 


by everybody, one runs the risk of making 


Etienne. You are quite right. 


no one happy. 


Madame DE Chazal. Too much success? 


Pascal Uokingly]. And yet, just look at 


Etiennb Iroguishl;/]. Too many orders. 


this man. He is not handsome. 


Madame DE Cbazal. Somuchtheworse. 


Madame Henkiet. He is faded. 


Etienne [drawing aioay]. Yes, I have a 


Madame de Cbazal. He dresses care- 


great deal to do just now. I am very 


lessly. 


busy. 


firiENh-E. I do that purposely. 


Madame de Chazal. Do you remember 


Gebmaike. It makes no difference. 


the little first floor apartment where we 


Nothing discourages us. 


used to meet one whole winter . , . before 


Madame de Chazal, Your men friends 


your marriage? 


must hate you, don't they? 


£tii:\ne. Fifteen years ago? 


Etibsne. Heartily. 


Madame de Chazal. Not so long ago 


Pascal. He still has plenty of hair, the 


as that. 


rascal! 


Etienne. Let me see. You came be- 


Etienne. How many enemies it has 


tween . . . 


made for me 1 


Madame de Chazal. What a cynic you 


Pascal. I know a bald teUow who criti- 




cises you everywhere. 


Etienne. a lady from H&vre was your 


Etibnne. An old chum of mine? That 




ne'er-do-well of a . . . ? His soul is as bare 


Madame de Chazal. In the same apart- 


as his skull. 


ment? 


Gbbmaine Ito Pascal] . All the same, my 


Etienne. Ugh! 


fitienne is nice, ia n't he? 


Madame de Chazal. I passed the house 


Pascal [/urioi/s]. When we go out to- 


yesterday. The apartment is vacant. 


gether, I always wink at the women, but 


Etiennb. It is lucky. 


they look at him. 


Madame de Chazal. Shall we take it 


Madame Henriet. Poor Pascal! 


again? 


Gehmaine [to EtienneJ. Do they stop 


ETIE^NE. I am going away. 


yoii in the street? 


Madame DE Chazal. When you return? 


Pascal. No, but they follow him. 


Etiexne. Ah! my dear. I tell you I am 


Etienne. Clown! 


very busy. 


Pascal. You have been followed twice 


Madime de Chazal. Do you mean 


this winter, I have proof of it. 


worn out? 


Madame Henbibt, That's beyond be- 


Etibnne. And really, I know what your 


lief. 


demands are. You would not be satisfied. 



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Mahamb D£ Chazal. Worn out I May 1 
say HO? 

Etiennb, Yeal Say so, I beg of you, so 
that I shall be left in peace. 

Madame db Chazal. If Germaine knew 
how bored you are by all that, she would 
be less jealous. 

Etibnne, I make sport of you aod all 
tte rest. That is mere bravado. As a 
matter of fact, 1 work hard and am faithful 
to my wife. 

Madame de Chazal. You are faithful 
to her, but you are not sorry to allow her to 
believe that you are not. 

fiTiBNNE. I am so conceited. 

Madame de Chazal. Do you love no 
one but her? 

feriENNB. That is a question which she 
juat asked me, and which she will probably 
ask me again Id five minutes. 

Madame de Chazal. You bundle of 
conceit ! 

Etienne. I'll wager that she will. 

Gebmaihe [dramng near]. What are you 
two laughing about in the comer? You are 
speaking ill of me, I am sure. 

Madame db Chazal. No. 

Etibnnb. No, my love. 

Gbbmainb [tenderty]. Do you love me? 

Etienne. I have won. 

Gbrmainb. What is the meaning of tlic 
joke? 

Etienne. I made a wager with Madame 
de Chazal that you would ask me that 
question within five minutes. 

JMadame db Chazal dmivs near 
Madame HeNBiETonrf Pascal.] 

Gbbmainb [to Etienne]. You have 
reason to make tun of me. I am a fool. 

Stienne. Nonsense, grown-up babyl I 
am only joking. 

Germaine [sadlyj. What a strange 
mania women have to try at all costs to 
wrench a pleasant reply from you, even 
though they know the reply will be false. 

Etienne [jokinglj/]. Let us make up, old 

GEfiKAiNE. If 1 am your old love, 1 shall 
be another's new love. 

Etienne. Germaine! 

Gebmainb [gaiiy]. A woman is only com- 
plete when she inspires all kinds of feelings. 



[Germaine joins Pascal and 
Madame de Chazal.J 

Madame de Chazal [to Madame Hen- 
rietJ. Six o'clock! We must go. 1 have a 
dinner engagement. I shall hardly have 
tame to dress. 

Pascal. Does that require much time? 

Madame db Chazal. Very httle. 

Madame Henbibt [to Etienne). Good- 
by, bluffer. 

Etienne. Why bluffer? 

Madame Hbnriet. Because you forget 
your promises. 

Etienne. What do you mean? 

Madame Henriet. You promised to 
write to me. 

Etienne. Ah yes! To fix an hour for 
you. 

Madame Hbnriet, Pardon me. Two 

Etiennb. Very well. 

Madame Henbiet. I shall expect your 

Etienne. Here is the proof that I have 
been thinking of you. 

Madame Henriet. Your wife is watch- 
ing us. 

Etiennb- Take it. 

[He slips into her hand his car 
Hckel.] 

Madamb Hb.vbiet [in a choking voiee]. 
Number 53 ! 

Etiennb. When I return, perhaps I can 
give you a lower one. 

Madame Henbiet. Boorl 

Etienne [bursting into laughler]. For- 
give me. I am in love with my wife. 

Madame Henriet. What a punishment 
for a rouf ! 

Pascal [to Madame de Chazal]. So 
then, you refuse me? 

Madame de Chazal. Yea. 

Pascal. What must I do to persuade 
you? 

Madame db Chazal. Many things. 

Madame Henriet. You must give up 
all other ties. 

Pascal. And knots as well. 

Madame de Chazal. Philanderer! [To 
Etienne,] Bon voyage, doctor. 

Etibnnb. Thank you. 

Madame HptjjUET. Good-by, 



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327 



Gbrmaive. Good-by. 

Pascal. I shall put them in their 
carriage. 

[Madamb de Chazal, Madams 
Henbiet artd Pascal go out.] 

Gbrmaine. We are alone at last. You 
won't worry me any more, will you? 

Etiennb. Are you still annoyed with 
me? 

Germaine. No. 

^TiEfiNE [closing the door]. Good! 

Gbrmaine. What luck! A t^te-&-t6te! 

Etibnne. Yea. 

Germaine. That's right. Close the 

Etienne. I warn you. 1 have not shut 
it tight. 

Gbrmaine. Oh! There is little chance 
of your bolting it. 

Btibnne. You must restrain yourself. 

Germaine [roguishly]. At least, let me 
kiss you. Oh! Don't be afraid. I shall not 
squeeze you too hard. I shall kiss you ten- 
derly, chastely, as you kias me, 

Etienne. Kiss me in any way you like. 

Germaine, la anyway I like? 

flTTBNNE. Your lover allows it. 

Germaine. Yes, but my husband for- 
bids it. [She kisses him.] 

Etienne. Enough, 

Gehmaine. Just one more. 

Etienne, I am in a hurry. 

Germaine. It won't take long, 

Etienne. All right, the last one, then. 

Germaine. 1 promise. 

[She Mssee him again.] 

Etienne, Oh! You're choking me. The 
witch! Sheknowsallthe tricks of the game. 

Germaine. I could have invented new 

Etienne [jokingly]. Be quiet! You're 
immodest! It a reporter heard you . . . 

Germaine. Perverted people are always 
easily shocked. Now it's your turn. 

Etienne [kissing her]. There you are. 

Germaine. la that all? 

Etienne. Yes, 

Germaine. Only one? 

foiENNE. A second would be 

Gbrmaine. Suppose it were? . 

Etienne. Let us talk about something 



Germaine. There is no danger, since 
you are going away. 

Etienne. I'll give youanother presently. 

Germaine. Only one! That 's what you 
alwa3^ say. Talk to me now. Tell me 
something. 

Etienne. About what, for example? 

Germaine, About what you have done 
to-day. 

Etienne. But I have nothing to tell you. 

Germaini! [tenderly]. Tell me something 
any way. Come on! Lie just a little bit. 
You no longer tell me any of those dear 
little lies that I love to hear. 

Etienne. I have told you everything, I 

Gehmaine Iforcing him (o sit down again]. 
Oh! Don't move. 1 beg of you. I have n't 
se«n you for an age. 

Etienne. Nonsense! I went out at halt 
past two. 

Germaine. At two o'clock. 

Etienne. And now it is only six. 

Germaine. Quarter past six. 

Etienne. Confound it! I am going to 
miss my train. 

Germaine. The clock is fast. 

Etievne. What a child you are ! No one 
would believe that you have been married 
for eight years. 

Germaine, You are surprised, are n't 
you, that I have loved you so long? Oh! 
How glad I am to see you. No one would 
beljcve that I live with you, would they? 

Etienne. The fact is . . . 

Germaine. Have you ever noticed how 
happy I am when you are in a good humor? 

KmEtinE[yn.thaselS-saHsfiedaiT]. That's 

Germaine [adm,iTingly]. Do you know 
what you look like? Like a pretty woman 
who has just received a compliment. 

Etienne. Pass me the matches. 

Germaine. Are n't you nice to ask me 
for something! What do you need now? I 
love to serve you. 

Etienne [lighting a, dgarette]. Sit down 
over there, and don't talk any more, 

Germaine. Oh! Don't look at your pa- 
pers. You can work en route. 

Etienne. You are right. Besides, I 
don't feel hke working this evening. 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Gbrmaine. And you have a cough. 

Stiennb. It is eold in this room. 

Germaine. With a fire like this? You 
are joking. It is sufFocaticg. 

Etibnnb, I am shivering aU over. I 
must warm myself. 

Gbrmaine. That 's right, let us get warm. 
It's such fun to get warm together. 

Etienne. Yes, let's get warm. 

[They draw near to the fire.] 

Germaine. You look tired this evening. 
1 hope you don't feel sick. 

fiTiEKNE. Of course not. 

Germaine. You must pay more atten- 
tion to your health, Etienne. Sometimes 
you are imprudent. 

Etienne. Imprudent? 

Gebmaine. For example, your suit is 
too light. 

firiENNB. You are mistaken. It is quite 
heavy enough. 

Gebmaine. Not for the month of March. 

Etienne \yaumitig]. Don't worry. 1 
never felt better in my life. 

Germaine. But you are yawning. You 
must have indigestion. 

Etiennb. I am yawning because it is 
dinner time. I am hungry. 

Germaine. I don't care what you say. 
You are paler than usual. 

Etienne, Let us not talk about my 
health. 

Germaine, After all, there is a reason 
for your lack of color. You have worked 
hard recently. 

Etienne. That is a mistake. You know 
well enough that I have n't. Let us not 
talk about my poor work, or I should scold 
you. It is lucky that we are rich I Come 
now, confess the truth. Are you not a little 
ashamed to see me so changed? 

Germaine. It annoys me, that's all. 

fiiiENNE. I don't lead the life that I 
should lead. I go to bed too late and get up 
too early. That is why I look sick. You 
need no other explanation to soothe your 



Germaine. Do you really think so? 

Etienne. Who would not be worn out 
under the circumstances? We go out to 
dinner, we go to parties, we have late sup- 
pers, we never have a moment's peace. 



Last night we reached home at three o'clock 
. . . and naturally . . . 

Germaine. And to thick that you al- 
ways say the same thing the next morning! 
You must always cloud with remorse your 
slightest pleasures. What do you expect? 
I am not perfect, yet I can not be sad 
when ... If I said that, I should not tell 
the truth. And then what a mistake it is 
to imagine that the pleasantest hours are 
necessarily the most harmful, I don't be- 
lieve that. 

Etienne. I should say not! 

Germaine. Inany event, it was you w^ho 
proposed that we go out. 

Etienne. I admit it, 

Germaine. Well, then. 

Etienne. It is true that we had just 
quarrelled. Without the quarrel, there 
would have been no necessity to make it 
up. 

Gebmaine. Even so. 

Etienne. And then, you were wearing 
that dress which is so becoming to you, and 
every time that you wear it, I have no- 

Gebhaine. What? 

Etienne. That you can twist me about 
your finger. 

Gebmaine. Nonsense. 

Etienne. So you wear it constantly. 

Germaine. In gratitude. 

Etienne. Germaine, I beg of you. Don't 
wear dresses like that. When I see you in 
that sort of dress, I lose my head. 

Gbrmaike. Unfortunately, you find it 

Etienne. When it is too late. 

Germaine. The next morning, 

Etienne, Night must end sometime. 

Gebmaine [sadly]. Ah ! Daylight is my 
enemy. As soon as it appears, you recover 
your reason, your intelligence, your cruelty. 
You discover my faults, you criticiae my 
love for you, you become rational. My 
power ends with daylight, my prestige van- 
ishes and then I find myself face to face 
with a stranger, a man whom I am not sm^ 
to win over again. Ah! Why must that 
delicious moment melt away when I am 
really a part of you? How different are 
your thoughts when our bodies feel the 



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A LOVING WIFE 



329 



Bame thrilis! Alaa! After that, we are two 
beings, separated from one another, and 
sometimes even enemies. What folly! 

firiENNB. Perhaps, my darling, if wo 
each had our own room . . . 

Gbrmainb. Separate rooms? No, I pre- 
fer that you hate me when you awake, I 
want tti sleep there, on your shoulder, like 
ft child, all my life. I have thought it all 
out and I know of no better way of being 
happy. If you deprive me of those nights, 
what would be left for us? 

firiENNE Iself-salisfied]. So you arc 
happy when you fall asleep on my shoulder? 

Gebmaiivb, No. 

fiiiENNE, You are not telling the truth. 

Gbrmainb. Be quiet. You alwa3^ talk 
about the happiness you give me and never 
of the happiness you receive. And yet, 
idiot, if you loved me as I love >ou jou 
can't imagine how happj \ou would be I 
tell you I would n't exchange my lot for 
yours, in spite of aU your unkuidnesj- 

Etienne [lovehed]. I im unkind am I 
not? 

Gbbmaine. Yes, you are 

firiENNE, Do I hurt >our feelings md 
humiliate you? 

Germ.une. You often do 

Etibnnb. Poor little girl' 

Germaine. You see I am not proud 
As soon as you are kind I complain 

fiTiENNB. You have reason to Com 
plain to your heart's content 

Gebmainb. When 1 am sure of jour 
love, I have no further need of dignifv 

EtiennEi Don't stop 1 ou are charm 
ing. 

Gebmaine. Doyouhkeme' 

Etibnne. If you had not suffered ho« 
many delightful things would have re 
mained unsaid ! 

Gbhmainb. A1! the same, don t make 
me say too many. Who knomt' Happi 
ness might inspire me just as well 

Etiennb. But you maj be happj when 
you wish it. 

Gekuaine. When I leave you in peace. 

Etibnne. When you agree to be less 
sentimental. Usually a woman does n't 
love her husband so much as that. 

Germaine. My only fault is iu having 



for mine the same feelings that all my 
friends have for him. What a pity that I 
am your wife! 

firiEDNE, Yes, it is unfortunate. 

Gbhmainb. After all, be fair. It is no 
crime to be a wife, it is only an accident. 
Had you not married me, 1 migbt have 
been the dearest mistress of your hfe. 

Etiennb, But you are the most flatter- 
ing of my conquests. 

Germaine. I am your virtue, but ^ 
might have been your vice, quite as well ftE 
any other woman First of all, you are a 
lover, you are not a husband. Your r61e in 
this world is to be in love, eternally in love. 

feriiiNNB [in a lone of resignation]. An- 
other Delaunay I 

Germaine. You would like to change 
your profession because you are forty- 
three Impossible' As long as you hve, 
you will love or you ■mil be lo\ed. One can 






8 fate 



That = a frightful picture, 
bo if y ou had a little com- 
mon s^nse instead of avoiding my love 
most of the time > ou would accept it phil- 
osophir-allj IfIncr"\ou Ishouldaayto 
rr J self hince Heaven has condemned me 
to be idored by all women well, let hei 
ha\e her way It might as well be she as 
in\ one else After all she is nice." 

Etienne And how about the days when 
I am depressed or when I ■an working, or 
when I im in a bad temper? 

Cermaine Tho«e dajs do not matter. 
\ou stop for a moment and smile, and 
think to jourself She is going to be 
vexed but she will be so happy later!" 

Etiennb Well then lo\e me all the 

Germaine As much as 1 like? 

fiiENhE \c but no more 

C ER-uAiNE ^ OU are alreadv afraid. 

ET1EN^E Do JOU think (his passion of 
jours \/il\ last forever' 

&ERM41NE I am afraid so 

Etienne. So then, your husband wiD 
be youi' sole interest as long as you live? 

Germaine. Even when I am old, witi 
white hair, I shall care tor nothing else. 
Resign yourself, my poor dear. You are in 
my blood. 



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CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS 



Etie 



forth]. Oh! I adore 



Germaine. Say it again. I am not so 
sure of that as you. 

firiENNi;. I adore you. I adore you, 

Gebmainb. More than intelligence? 
More than work? 

Etienne. More than science. 

Gehmaine. More than the Florence 
congress? 

Etienne. The devil take the 
I am not going. 

Gbrmai>i-b. Don't talk 
course you will go. You haye promised 

feriENNE. I shall stay with jou 

Gebmainb. I don't want jou to Go 
and get ready. Since you love me I shall 
have no regrets. Don't be silly 

Etiennb. We have never been separated 
Let us not begin now. 

Germaine. Nonsense, Etienne j ou 
don't mean it. You know well enough it is 
your duty to go. 

Etienne. a lot I care about my duty! 

Germaine. Besides, it is too late. You 
have accepted this mission. You must go. 

firiENNE. Ihaveacceptedit, that is true, 
but not entirely. 

Germaine. What a lie! 

Etieknb. I reserved the right to with- 
draw at the last moment. I swear It. 

Germaine. You did n't tell me so. 

Etienne. I forgot to. I am going to 
write to the Minister, 

Germaine. Don't act hastily. Will 
someone else be appointed in your place? 

Etibnnb. I shall be delighted for that. 

Germaine. Don't do it. 

Etienne [taking up his pen]. Let me 

Gehmaine. Ah! Do not be so kind. In 
an hour you will hate me. 

[Enter Madeij:inb.1 
Madeleine. Count d'Hfirivault to see 



you, 

BriBNNE. Count d'H^rivault? 

Madeleine. That short gentleman who 
looks so sad. 

Gebmainb. One of my suitors. Tell him 
that I'll see him. 

Etiennb [handiiip a Utter to Madeleinb|. 



Madeleine, take a cab and deliver this let- 
ter to rue de Grenelle. It is urgent. 

Madeleine. Yes, sir. 

[Madeleine goes onu] 

Germaine. You won't be angry? You 
won't blame me, will you? 

^^TiBNNE. No, I promise you. Don't 
worry. 

Germaine. In any case, I don't care. 
What you think is not important. You are 
going to stay, I have you, that's the chief 

Etiennb We shall spend the evening 
together and we shall be very happy. You 

Gebmainb \ahout to kam\. Thank you. 
[RtiuTmng | Are we going to Lohengrin? 

Ctibnnb I am not anxious to. Areyou? 

Gebmaine. Have you forgotten it is the 
premifiref Our two tickets will be wasted. 

Etiennb Give them to someone. Let 
us not go out. I would rather not, 

Cebmainb. My, but you are nice this 
evening, 

Etibnnb, Why not? I can't love you 
except as a lover, 

Germaine [gaily]. Whatapity, isn'tit? 

Etibnnb [alone, gravely]. Yes, what a 
pity! 



ACT II 

Some selling. On Etienne's desk a half- 
consumed candle is burning. 

Etibnnb [seated at kis desk, alone and 
preoccupied, studying Ike time-UAle]. Alex- 
andria, Florence, seven fifty-five ... I 
should still have time . . . Bah! Let's for- 
get about it, since Moriceau is leaving in 
my place . . . Moriceau ! A fine choice I . , . 
Oh! These women! 

Germaine [at the door, tenderly]. What? 
You are alone and you did n't let me know? 

Etienne [aside]. Ah I Now I must de- 
vote myself to her little heart. \To Geb- 
mainb.] What are you looking for? 

Germaine [(iisiurbing Etienne's pojwrs.l 
My books. ... Ah! Here they are. 

Etienne. Be careful, you are going to 
upset the ink-well. 



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A LOVING WIFE 



3JI 



Gebmaine, Will you allow me to sit 
down beside you? 

Etiennb. Do just as you like. 

Gesmaine, Where is my paper-knife? 

Etienne. I have n't touched it. 

Gbrmaine [snatching his paper-knife 
from his hands]. I shall take yours. He- 
move that dictionary. It 's in my way. 

firiBNNB. Are you comfortable? 

Germaine [silting down very dose to himj. 
I am very comfortable now, thanks. I am 
vety happy. 

Etiennb. I am glad of it. 

Gebmaine. How about you? 

firiBNKB. I am happy because you are 
happy. 

Gebmaine. I told Madeleine to serve us 
here. We shall dine on this little table, as 
we did night before last. Have you any 
objections? 

^TiENNE. Quite the contrary, 

Gebmaine. And we shall allow the other 
servanta to go out. 

Etiennb. Very well. 

Germainb. You will sit there, with your 
back to the fire. If Pascal invites himself, 
don't give him your place, I am willing to 
deprive myself of it for you, but not for 

Etienne. Oh! We shall not see him 
again to-day, 

Gehmaine, I am certain he will be back. 
feiBNNB. Towishmeapleasant journey, 
Germainb. Unless hb mistress keeps 

Etibnne. Which rarely happens. 

Germaine, It's hardly likely, 

Etienne. Poor fellowl 

Germaine. His love affairs are in a bad 
away. He is going through a crisis. 

Etienne. And he does n't work at ail. 
{Pause. Germaine glances over a 
novel, Etiennb writes,] 

Gebmaine. The gentleman whom I saw 
» while ago was from the Ministry, was he 

Etienke. Yes. 

Germaine. He did n't bring you bad 

Etienne. No. 

Germaine. Then you have no regrets? 

Etibknb. No. 



Germainb, You have good reason not 
to be sorry. First of ail, you will be warmer 
to-night than you would have been on the 

Etibnne. Very true. 

Gebmaine, You will not be covered 
with dust to-morrow morning, 

Etibnne, Probably not. 

Germaine. You will not be aE grimy. 

Etiennb. Nol 

Germaine, And you will get awake, 
light-hearted and in a good humor, 

Etibnne [dmAtfully]. Do you think bo? 

Germainb. Do you know how long it 
requires to go to Florence? Thirty-two 
hours, my darling, 

Etienne. I have taken longer trips. 

Gebmaine. All the same, a journey of 
thirty-two hours by train is wearisome. 

Etiennb. Not always. Sometimes it is 
restful. I sleep excellently on a train, 

Germainb [quickly]. There! You should 
have gone this evening, my dear. 

Etiennb [angrily]. Why do you say that? 

Germaine, I have no reason. 

Etiennb, Come now. Since I have no 
regrets, don't give me cause to be sorry. 

Germainb. You are sorry, I know you. 

Etiennb. You are mistaken. 

Germainb. You can't see yourself, my 
dear. You look as though you were con- 
demned to death. 

Etibnnb, You devote too much atten- 
tion to how 1 look.